Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil’s manifestos lack any kind of serious determination to prevent another economic crash and they will both increase economic inequality.
Fine Gael is proposing income tax cuts that will only benefit the top 20% and which will take €2.5 billion a year out of public spending on housing and health at a time when nearly 4,000 children are in emergency homeless accommodation and over 200,000 children are waiting for hospital appointments. The ESRI has said that this tax cut alone will make Ireland as unequal as Britain, moving us away from the European average.
Fianna Fáil have resorted to McCreevy style economics offering property-based tax breaks, and tax giveaways that will benefit developers and landlords, not regular workers and families, and they are promising to slash Capital Gains Tax by a quarter, which will benefit the wealthy. Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have shown that they do not represent ordinary working people. They are being reckless with the public finances in order to win the election, regardless of the major risks from Brexit, climate change and a slowdown in international trade.
Labour has a vision of how Ireland can be more like other North European countries. Our economic policy will grow the economy through investment in poorer regions and provide a right to in-work training for workers to drive productivity growth and higher wages.
Only Labour is focused on reducing waste, getting greater value for public investment and reducing inequality. Our budget approach allows for at €5 for pensions and social protection every year, expands income tax bands in line with wage inflation and will create a €2 billion capital spending fund to ensure that Fine Gael’s mismanagement of the children’s hospital is not allowed to delay life-saving investment in hospitals around the country.
Labour will stop the waste of public money, build homes and fix health.
The Labour Party proposals on our Economic and Fiscal Policy is available here.