'Bonkers' for Govt parties not to look at taxation says Kelly

It is "bonkers" for parties in government formation talks to say that taxation will not be looked at, says Alan Kelly.
'Bonkers' for Govt parties not to look at taxation says Kelly

It is "bonkers" for parties in government formation talks to say that taxation will not be looked at, says Alan Kelly.

The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has said that debt will be "almost at historic highs" after the coronavirus crisis and advised the government that "all options must be kept on the table", including spending cuts and tax increases in order to reign in public finances.

Leader of the Labour Party Alan Kelly, had rejected the offer of government formation due to his concerns over taxation, arguing that higher taxes on high earners or other pockets of wealth should be looked at to ensure a fairer recovery.

"It's not realistic, and as government information talks go on, it's not realistic to say, and sell to people over the coming years: 'We are going to be able to get through this without looking at taxation, and in some cases increases in taxation'," he said.

"This is now spelled out in black and white.

"So we will be asking the other parties, particularly those in government formations, what their views are on this now because, really, is it sellable to the public?

"Are we really are they really being honest with the public, following on from this analysis, is it achievable to set out and do what potentially they're planning to do?

"And still say that they are collectively not going to raise taxes? It's just bonkers."

Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agreed at the beginning of the government formation talks that raising taxes or USC, including on high earners, saying that the Irish public "wouldn't stomach" austerity measures again, so soon after the last recession.

Trade unions and other NGOs have flagged a number of opportunities in the Covid-19 crisis to create "a new social contract", changing Ireland to a more "social democratic ideology" across a range of public services like childcare, education, and healthcare. It's expected all three government formation parties will be lobbied by a number of groups to work towards radical change in these three areas.

"I don't believe that the Irish people will ever be able will ever countenance or consider or tolerate," Mr Kelly added.

"Going back to the way we were before.

"I'll be asking the Taoiseach a number of questions relating to that today because certainly, the future government are gonna have to make very quick decisions to acknowledge that change that has come about because of the pandemic."

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