Thursday, November 4, 2010

O'Brien Welcomes TASC Analysis of Budget Proposals

O’Brien Welcomes TASC Analysis of Budget Proposals

Sinn Féin Cllr Jonathan O’Brien has welcomed the analysis of the party’s budget proposals by economist Michael Taft of TASC, and said they indicate once again the possibility of creating a progressive alliance as an alternative to the consensus for cuts.

Writing on the Progressive Economy blog, Michael Taft wrote: “With the political consensus obsessed with a €15 billion deflationary juggernaut, it’s a relief that one party gets it. Sinn Fein’s pre-budget submission argues for a major stimulus programme combined with a growth-friendly consolidation package that, taken together, would increase growth and job creation. This would put deficit-reduction on a sustainable path, unlike the calls for contraction which could land the economy in what the ESRI calls a ‘deflationary cycle’. (

Cllr O’Brien said:

“Michael Taft’s comments reflect the views of a growing number of independent economists, as well as those in the trade union movement and the community and voluntary sector that the strategy of cuts has failed. The government has already imposed three hairshirt budgets and the only result has been to shrink the economy further.”

“There is an alternative – an economic strategy focused on job creation, an economic stimulus, and an end to NAMA and the bank bailout.”

“Instead of cutting social welfare payments, taxing low paid workers and decimating services, Sinn Féin would reduce the deficit by taxing some of the huge amount of wealth that remains in the country. Instead of further deflating the economy we are proposing a €7 billion stimulus package.”

“Instead of pouring more money into zombie banks we want to invest in the country’s infrastructure and create jobs”

“We reject the entirely artificial 2014 deadline for reducing the budget deficit to 3% and want the timescale for the correction extended to 2016.”

“Full details of our pre-budget submission can be read at”

For further information or comment contact Cllr Jonathan O’Brien @ 085-2133907

Sinn Féin Pre-Budget Submission – Headline Figures

— Costed by department of finance and leading economists
— Reduce deficit by €4.6 billion
— Finance a 3.5 year stimulus package of €7.5 billion

Top Three Revenue-Raising Ideas

— Standardise all discretionary tax reliefs - €1.1 billion
— Wealth tax of 1% on all property in excess of €1 million, excluding primary residences and farmland - €1 billion
— Third tax rate of 48% on individual incomes in excess of €100,000 - €410 million

Top Three Savings Proposals

— Cap public salaries at €100,000 - €350 million
— Charge private patients the full cost of public beds - €305 million
— Move to generic drugs across the health service - €200 million

Key Points in Stimulus Package

— Funded by €600 million from revenue-raising and saving measures plus €7 billion transfer from Pension Reserve Fund
— €4 billion for labour intensive infrastructure over 3.5 years
— Return Christmas bonus - €226 million
— Ease recruitment embargo - €150 million
— Make tax credits refundable - €140 million

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