Tuesday 12 December 2017

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'Mixed bag’ says Young Fine Gael

Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 4:57pm

Young Fine Gael has spoken of its disappointment with aspects of Tuesday’s Budget.

While the youth party welcomed some of the new Budget measures it was was critical of elements of the tax and spending plans announced by Minister Paschal Donohoe.

President of Young Fine Gael Marian O'Donnell commented: "Budget 2018 is a mixed bag. There are positives in the form of commitments to spending on climate change and the construction of 3,800 new social housing units, as well as increases in the budgets for departments like Health, Education, and Defence. However, Young Fine Gael had lobbied strongly for meaningful tax cuts on behalf of workers and particularly young workers who sacrificed the most during the economic crisis. To safeguard our future and the future of young people, we feel this should have been prioritised over social welfare increases which, to Young Fine Gael, do not represent an equitable spread of the benefits of a booming economy across the board."

The party said minimal tax cuts coupled with increases to all social welfare payments was disappointing, as was the introduction of a “stealth tax” on sugary drinks. They said such measures represented the “unwelcome influence of a discredited Fianna Fáil economic model of ‘spending it if we have it’.”

In addition to welcoming the new housing measures Young Fine Gael also said it was pleased at the increase of the vacant site tax and the pledge of €2.5 million to support the Gaeltacht and the advancement of the Irish language. They praised the introduction of a VAT refund scheme for the costs incurred by charities but questioned why the same could not have been done for Automated External Defibrillators.

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