On saturday night I made comments on another thread directed at staunch Fianna Fáil supporters asking how they felt and what they thought about Fianna Fáil referring to SF as economic illiterates while adoptng there policies. In response I received the usual auld bluster about SF/IRA being new to democratic politics and the inevitable I didn't think SF had economic policies argument. At which point I stated I would start a thread on the topic and put forward numerous examples of this hypocrisy. So this post is a short tribute to Oggy, New Gold Dream and the others that seem to be unaware at just how many policies FF are borrowing and presenting as there own.
I hope these members of FF will bear in mind a few things, most of SF's current economic policies have been long term party policies,secondly SF have submitted pre-budget submissions for years while in opposition and finally SF launched there pre-budget submission before FF.
So firstly a good starting point would be taxing high earners, FF during there time in Government were not exactly renowned for taxing the most well off.
Sinn Féin proposal;Introduce third rate of tax of 48% on portion of individual income in excess of €100,000 per annum: Raises €365million.Sinn Féin would increase the tax paid on income over €100,000 by 7 cent in each euro. The effective rate of tax in this state is quite low. Information from the Department of Finance reveals that an income earner of €100,000 pays an effective tax rate of 20.7%. Someone earning €150,000 pays 24.4%. An income earner of just over €1million pays an effective rate of 26.7%. This is because of the large number of tax reliefs applicable in this jurisdiction.
Fianna Fáil proposal; Fianna Fáil propose to go after high income earners of more than €100,000 in a different way but it's the same core principal, tax high earners, FF did not do this during there term in Government.
111,000 income tax cases had earnings over €100,000 in 2011. This represents the top 5% of earners. They paid an average effective tax rate of 25.7%. Increasing the
Universal Social Charge by 3% for earnings above this amount would raise
€200,000and increase the effective tax rate paid by this group by 1% to 26.7%.It is important to emphasise that the additional tax would only be paid on the portion of earnings above
€100,000 and where a married / civil partnership couple choose to be jointly assessed it would not apply to them if they both individually earn less than
€100,000. We believe this represents a fair adjustment of the income tax burden
Sinn Féin proposal;
Increase Capital Gains Tax: Raises €160million
An increase in Capital Gains Tax (CGT) from 30% to 40% would bring in €160million. 40% was the rate of CGT before it was cut by Charlie McCreevy in 1998.
Fianna Fáil proposal;
Low rates of capital gains tax may be desirable in encouraging entrepreneurship.However, the extent to which income can be converted to capital gains there is apotential significant loss of revenue to the State from a significant variation betweencapital gains tax and income tax rates. We propose an increase in the capital gainstax rate to 35% which will yield €80m
Sinn Féin proposal;Capital Acquisitions Tax measures: Raises €150million
Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) is a tax on gifts and inheritance. We would raise the rate of CAT from 30% to 40% and reduce the family and ‘other’ thresholds by 25%, raising €150million. No threshold applies to married couples as CAT is not applied
to spouses. There are a number of other exemptions, including exemptions for compensation, or for children inheriting houses if it is their main residence and they don’t have an interest in another house. The new threshold for children is above the average house price in the 26 Counties, which was €185,000 in Q1 2012 at the highest estimate (myhome.ie).
Fianna Fáil proposal; Raise capital acquisitions tax from 30% to 35%
Sinn Féin proposal;Improved revenue activity
Clamp down on black market and under declarations: Raises €100million
Sinn Féin has consistently called for the Revenue to be properly staffed to target black market activity and increase auditing. The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan revealed in October that the Revenue, as part of its Comprehensive Review of Expenditure, has identified how revenue could be increased through hiring 125 qualified revenue staff to bring in an additional €100million per annum. In our expenditure section, we allow for the lifting of the government recruitment embargo on staff. 125 trained revenue officials would cost €6.5million.
Fianna Fáil proposal;Revenue tax audits-Data submitted by Revenue to the Oireachtas Finance Committee shows that thenumber of tax audits carried out has fallen from 13,400 in 2009 to approximately9,800 in 2012. The yield from tax audits declined by
€200m. During this time thenumber of audit case workers has fallen by 143.This is clearly a false economy. Revenue’s own report estimates that:
•Redeploying 30 staff would collect
€225m of debt.
•Increasing audit resources by 125 staff could yield an additional
€100m per annum.
•Recruiting 40 ICT specialists to replace external resources would save
€4m per annum.We believe the necessary additional resources must be made available urgently. At a conservative estimate this should yield an additional
€100m in 2013
Sinn Féin proposal;Reinstate 950,000 home help hours: €16.9million
Since coming to office, this government has presided over cuts of almost one and a half million home help hours. Having a home help for a couple of hours daily to provide social interaction, practical help and real support is invaluable to older and infirm people. It helps them live an independent life, with dignity and, as is their wish, in their own home. Home helps are a fundamental cornerstone of the community-based primary care approach to healthcare and well-being. As well as cutting this valuable assistance, the government has cut the hours of those workers who provide the care – mostly women. We would immediately, and as a first step, reinstate the 950,000 hours cut in 2012.
Fianna Fáil proposal; Cost €10m
We absolutely reject HSE spending cuts to home help hours as a result of Minister Reilly and the HSE’s mismanagement of the health budget for 2012. The Programme for government committed to additional funding each year for the delivery of more home help and other professional community care services. It is a critical support to older people in facilitating their early discharge from, and in preventing inappropriate admission to, acute hospitals
Sinn Féin proposal;
Lift the recruitment embargo on frontline staff: €145million
In Sinn Féin’s jobs plan produced in October we set out the details of a stimulus plan which would see the building of additional schools, primary health care centres and other public service infrastructure. The government has claimed it will also build extra schools, etc, however it maintains a freeze on current public service employee numbers and an embargo on hiring new staff. To run more public buildings, they must be staffed, and this must be provided for in the annual budget.
A parliamentary response last year stated that lifting the embargo on recruiting frontline staff would cost in the region of €145million per annum. This will allow the hiring of 3,500 frontline staff. We would target these staff numbers at the health and education departments in the first instance, to be followed by Gardaí and the Social Protection department.
Fianna Fáil proposal;Lift the embargo on Garda recruitment. €5m
Following a three year recruitment suspension the current climate demands a review of Garda numbers. Worrying trends in rural crime, burglaries across the commuter belt and a rise in gangland violence underline the need for an end to the moratoriumon Garda Recruitment. Re-opening Templemore will enable greater flexibility andmovement in the force to respond to criminal threats and ensure that Garda stationsacross rural Ireland remain open
There is many other examples of FF policies that have originated in some form or other from SF policies,this is just the tip of the ice-berg and the conversation starter.
FF have also borrowed significantly in many other departments such as agriculture and social welfare reform. I intend to over time catalogue and analyse the borrowed policies from all departments on this thread, so any input would be helpful, I also intend on adding quotes,debates and video footage of FF resolutely opposing many of the SF type measures they now support during there last term in Government.