Thursday, 8 December 2005
Financial Resolution No. 5: General (Resumed).
Tommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Labour)
He did not succeed in increasing the basic social welfare rates by €17 per week. Given the base rates we have, such an increase will do nothing anyway. Such a bland gesture will not help the development of any form of social justice.
The decisions made on taxation policy are the central instruments of any budget. Many pages of examples and tables have been published to illustrate how the changes in this budget will affect single workers on the average industrial wage, for example, or couples with one or two children. The gains which will accrue to such people as a result of the changes made to the tax code in this budget are of just 1%, 1.2% or1.3%. The people to whom I refer will benefit by a miserly couple of hundred of euro as a result of this bland and conservative budget, which lacked flair and a vision for this country. As the Government approaches the end of its term in office, I am aware that Ministers from Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats are frantically looking to Opposition Members in the hope that we will somehow continue this era of prosperity after the next general election.