Opposition parties say Tuesday's budget will fail families and workers

Opposition parties say Tuesday's budget will fail families and workers

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the mooted €12-a-week rise for welfare recipients was not enough, and that payments should be increased by €15 at least  Picture Stephen Collins

Even before it is delivered, opposition parties have slammed the Government’s budget for not delivering what workers and families need to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald told the Irish Examiner social welfare payments should be increased by €15 at least.

The Government is set to increase all weekly social welfare payments by €12 come January 2023.

Ms McDonald said: “It is more of the same from Government — high on rhetoric but very little by way of delivery. Alongside a substantial cost of living package, we need to start tackling the long term crises that this government has created.

“Again, very little we have heard with regards to housing and health will change because of this budget.”

Co-leader of the Social Democrats Róisín Shortall said she is “deeply concerned” that the budget will not be sufficiently targeted at those who need help the most — low and middle income earners.

She said: “We know that the government is likely to spend more than €1bn on electricity credits, a large chunk of which will go to people on high incomes who do not need state help to pay their bills.

Spreading financial supports too thinly, with universal measures, means those who are really struggling to keep their heads above water will not get sufficient support. 

The Government’s priority should be lifting people out of poverty and investing in services — like housing, healthcare, education, childcare and public transport — that reduce the cost of living.”

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said an eviction ban and rent freeze must be key features of housing measures in Tuesday's budget.

Senator Moynihan said the mooted tax credit for renters shows Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are divorced from the lived reality of renters today: With renters paying an average of €20,000 a year, a €500 tax credit is “relatively meaningless”.

“Rather than paying lip service to renters, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael must provide tax credits in line with inflation, and certainty for the winter,” she said.

“We know that some rogue landlords continue to profiteer off the back of a small rental market, earning huge sums from renters’ hard earned pay.

“Increases in most people’s take-home pay simply are not matching the extortionate rents charged.

“The State needs to step in, freeze rents, ban evictions this winter, and commit to building more affordable homes.”

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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