AS THE BUDGET cuts sink in, anyone in any doubt about the new animosity between Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail could be left in little doubt as the new TD for Donegal South West Pearse Doherty launched a scathing attack on those cuts – an attack which left fellow TD and Fianna Fail Tanaiste Mary Coughlan visibly shaken.
In a lengthy submission to the Dail, Mr Doherty branded the Budget a disgrace and accused Fianna Fail of committing economic treason.
Speaking as his party’s new Finance Spokesman, Mr Doherty said it was a full frontal attack on the lowest income earners and the unemployed.
And he accused the Coalition of cooking up a recipe for economic suicide.
“It is times like this when you have to think, what would the founders of this state think about what has gone on earlier today in this chamber,” said Doherty, who also spoke as gaeilge.
“What would people who struggled into being, the people who gave their lives, the people who laboured to bring the Dáil into being, to bring the dream of the (1916) proclamation into being … I’m sure that they would be ashamed by what has gone on in this chamber today.”
Border towns could be hit in increases in prices for petrol and diesel.
Now yesterday’s announcement that an additional 2 cent will be added to the price of diesel and a further 4 cent to petrol will leave Northern motorists thinking twice about coming across the border.
Yesterday’s budget has further wiped out that price difference – and hundreds of jobs along the Border with it.
The Government’s dreaded €6 BILLION cutback budget included a raft of cuts.
The dole and other payments cut by €9 a week, with child benefit being slashed by €10 a month per child, and double that for the third child.
The lower paid – who traditionally have not paid tax – will be brought into the tax net gradually.
While there are to be no changes to the top and lower income tax rates, tax bands are to be narrowed which will mean more people pay the higher rate of income tax.
Income tax bands and credits to be cut by 10 per cent.
Fat cat civil servants at the top of semi-state bodies will keep their salaries, but new appointees to semi-state bodies will be capped at €250,000.
The Taoiseach’s salary to be cut by an additional €14,000 while his Ministers will take a €10,000 cut.
They’ll also find it more difficult to get around in the future because the state car fleet is being reduced by a third.
The Government will cut back on travel taxes, a welcome boost for tourism. However we will get water charges, and a property tax eventually
Once again Donegal people will bear the brunt of the cuts in a county with already higher than average unemployment.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan delivered his bruising budget – the most painful for many years to claims that he had showed no imagination and had made no plans to create jobs.
BUDGET HELL AT A GLANCE:
- Pay cuts of up to €14,000 for the Taoiseach and of €10,000 for ministers. The Taoiseach currently earns €228,466, down from €285,583 last year;
- Social welfare payments to be cut by 4%;
- A cut of €10 a month in child benefit for the first and second child and an additional cut of €20 for a third child;
- The income, PRSI and health levies to be merged into a single social contribution charge payable on all income;
- The state pension and Corporation Tax remain unchanged;
- 4% cut in all public sector pensions above €12,000 euro a year;
- A €250,000 cap on salaries for senior public servants and heads of semi-state bodies, including the President;
- A 10% lower starting rate for new employees in the public sector, including judges;
- The travel tax to be cut from €10 to €3 from 1 March 2011 until the end of the year;
- A €40 payment will be given to each household in receipt of fuel allowance to help fight the cold snap, at a cost of €14m;
- Households receiving a fuel allowance payment will get €40;
- Reform of state cars with former Taoisigh and Presidents given a pooled system with the number of garda drivers cut;
- Immediate reform of stamp duty;
- The Gulf Stream Government jet, which is at the end of its life span, will not be replaced;
- An increase in the excise duty on petrol by 4 cent and diesel by 2 cent by midnight;
- Alcohol and cigarettes are untouched until next year;
- Elimination of 25 tax breaks, including all property based relief by 2014;
- Abolition of the €75,000 ceiling for employee PRSI contributions;
- €200m provided for training and work placement supports for the unemployed.