Donegal’s Thomas Pringle TD has submitted a pre-budget proposal to the Minister for Finance outlining proposals aimed at creating fairness and taxing those that can afford to contribute more while not reducing expenditure on key public services which would increase revenue by €880million.
“Perpetual austerity is doomed to fail and in our case the continued insistence by the government on fiscal reduction is targeting the most vulnerable in society. There is no doubt that the country has to be able to pay its way but the fiscal consolidation is stifling demand in the domestic economy and not giving citizens any confidence to invest in the limited circumstances that may be available to them.
“By taxing high income earners in a more proportionate manner, increasing the PRSI contribution for self-employed contributors to 8%, introducing a part-time work scheme, making some minor adjustments to the child benefit payment and investing in creative industries could lead to an increase in revenue of €880m without having to cut expenditure in the areas of social protection, education and health.
“From this, it is possible to increase revenue without the need to target low income earners and other vulnerable groups in society which would in reality only moderately affect those on higher incomes but with considerable savings. This in turns allows additional revenue generated to be used to fund the deficits in the Health, Education and Social Expenditure budgets and activation measures in the proposal.
“This budget submission is by no means complete due to the limited resources available, but it lays the foundation for creating some fairness and by proposing tax increases on those that can afford to contribute more and by not reducing expenditure on vital social services, attempts to give the domestic economy some room to breathe and encourage growth.
“The impact on our society will be immeasurable and the damage very difficult to undo if we continue on the path of fiscal adjustment outlined by the government and the troika. We need a debate on the impact of the policies being pursued and a mandate for the government to renegotiate the terms of our funding.
“Giving the economy and society a breathing space may generate the growth that the government require to lessen the impact of the fiscal adjustment so far.”