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Irish Opposition Outlines Budget Wish List

by Jason Gorringe,, London

28 November 2012

Ireland's main opposition party is calling for an almost even split between taxation and expenditure measures in the forthcoming Budget.

Fianna Fáil's submission for Budget 2013, “A Fairer Way to Recovery”, argues that planned cuts to the capital budget of EUR550m are too deep. The party is instead proposing what finance spokesman Michael McGrath says are a number of targeted stimulus measures. He wants to see an extra EUR150m in capital spending and savings of EUR250m across public sector pay. A package of measures for those "in the negative equity trap" is included in the submission, along with a proposed one-year extension to the mortgage interest relief for first time buyers.

The submission claims to exceed the government's taxation targets without including a residential property tax. The government is however required to introduce a comprehensive property tax as part of its bailout package, and this year introduced a much-maligned household charge as an interim measure. Also controversial is the government's proposal for introducing statutory sick pay, which Fianna Fáil says it would avoid.

A further series of measures included in the submission are designed to provide greater support to small and medium sized enterprises by tackling the burdens of commercial rates and offering stricter controls over the availability of credit.

“The package we are publishing today is not a template for an easy budget, but we believe it is fair, progressive and it supports the very enterprises who have the ability to lead this country to recovery,” McGrath said.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan will deliver his Budget next month.

TAGS: Finance | tax | economics | Ireland | property tax | interest | fiscal policy | public sector | budget

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