Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Labour focuses on reducing deficit

Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore and Finance spokeswoman Joan Burton

The Labour Party has billed its alternative budget as "In Ireland's Interest - Jobs, Reform and Fairness".

The party said its aim is to reduce the deficit by taking 4.5 billion euro out of the Government spend next year through tax reform while also promoting jobs and growth. Here are the key proposals from Labour:

:: A 48% top tax rate for the highest earners - single workers earning more than 100,000 euro or a couple taking in 200,000 euro.

:: A 190,000 euro cap on all public servant and political salaries and cut the sector pay bill by 400 million euro in 2011. Follow that with a 1.4 billion euro reduction in the public sector pay bill over three years;

:: Abolition of property-based tax relief and breaks;

:: Save 215 million euro from the welfare bill by cutting fraud and curbing the rent supplement spend;

:: Car-pooling for ministers and Garda drivers to be replaced by civilians except when security issues are a concern. An enforced 100 million euro contribution from the 7,000 exiles said to be based part-time in Ireland;

:: A modest cut of 250 euro in the personal tax credit system. Increase in the rate of Deposit Interest Retention Tax to 30%. An increase in the tax on second homes to 500 euro;

:: Cap the Taoiseach's salary at 190,000 euro and bring in a corresponding further reduction of 17% to the wages of all ministers and Ministers of State. Achieving approximately 960 million euro in non-pay savings next year;

:: Introduce a jobs fund of 500 million euro next year. Maintain investment in education and frontline services in health, while reducing the cost base in the health service.

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