Local TD, Fianna Fail TD, Frank O’Rourke, has said that while Budget 2018 is far from perfect, we have through the supply and confidence agreement with the Government, and our determination, ensured that fairness is put at the heart of the budget.
“I am delighted that once again we have secured a €5 per week increase in the State Pension. This is the second year in a row that Fianna Fáil has secured such an increased. The €5 per week welfare payment increases are a core priority for Fianna Fáil.”
“Increased resources for public services are also welcome, with increased number of teachers and special needs teachers, which I have campaigned for. The reduction of the USC for low income families and the widening of the tax bands for low income families are also welcome; we have succeeded in moving the debate from reducing the higher tax rate, a Fine Gael led proposal, to focusing on low income families. ”
”The Telephone Allowance for the elderly is to be brought back to return October 2018. I called for this in recent weeks and I am delighted that it is included in the budget, but it is only a small step in the right direction. However, the funds allocated for the Taoiseach’s Strategic Communications Unit, amounting to €5m, would in my opinion be better placed in further supports for the elderly.”
“We need to focus more on the cost of living expenses. Rising cost of insurances, increased home property taxes and the inflation of energy costs are the hidden growing costs which have not been the Government’s priority. I have said many times, that there is little point in reducing taxes, if a multiple of the reduction is taken back in the increase in the cost of living.”
“Last year was the first progressive budget in 6 years; a fact admitted by the Taoiseach himself. Fianna Fail’s influence over budgetary policy, through its supply and confidence agreement, is greater than the Labour party’s influence while they were in Government. Our spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath TD, with whom I work closely, has been determined to ensure that fairness is put at the heart of the budget.” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.