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Congress launch alternative Budget proposals

Date Released: 29 August 2013

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said today ( 29th August) that an alternative strategy for Budget 2014 would be more effective at reaching deficit targets, spurring job creation and boosting recovery prospects.

Launching the Congress pre-budget submission, Congress General Secretary said that as a matter of urgency government policy had to become “more job-focused and growth friendly. Crucially, there is no contradiction between this approach and meeting agreed budgetary targets,” he said.

“In fact, by adopting this  strategy for Budget 2014 we stand a better chance of reaching those targets, while creating more jobs and minimising social damage,” Begg said.

He said Congress was proposing a smaller fiscal consolidation of just €2 billion, an investment stimulus of €4.5 billion over the next two years - financed in a manner that limits the cost to the taxpayer – and targeted tax increases for the highest earners, including a greater contribution from the profitable corporate sector.

He said government must take full advantage of the Promissory Note deal to “give people some breathing room” and allow growth to take hold.

“Despite some recent good news on the jobs front, Ireland remains mired in recession and we need to change course and try to accelerate recovery.

“We still have one in four out of work or under-employed, collapsed retail sales and flat domestic demand.”

Begg said there were four key elements to the Congress plan:

Use the proceeds of the Promissory Note deal to reduce the size of the budget adjustments planned for 2014 and 2015;
An investment stimulus package of €4.5 billion over the next two years, financed in a manner that would limit the cost to the taxpayer;
Target tax increases at the richest 10% of households, along with an increased contribution from the corporate sector.
No further cuts to non-pay ‘primary’ public spending and greater efficiency in the delivery of public services.


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