Opposition livid as elderly and low earners hit
IT DIDN’T take for the opposition long to lay into the new Government budget with particularly biting criticism reserved for road cutbacks affecting the N11 and the treatment of low income wage earners.
Fine Gael Deputy Andrew Doyle has accused Finance Minister Brian Lenihan of discriminating against low income families and older people, and has also slammed yet another delay in the funding needed to complete the remaining single lane section of the N11 from Rathnew to Arklow.
He says, ‘I find it absolutely incredible that the 1 per cent wage levy is applied to low income wage earners the same as high earners.
‘Tax increases on petrol, savings, school transport, VAT and college registration fees increases are unfairly targeting low income families.’
He further feels that some of the most vulnerable people in the community, such as the elderly, are being unfairly targeted with medical card cutbacks, increases in hospital charges and the drug repayment scheme.
The further delay of on the single lane upgrade of the N11, despite the dangerous nature of that section of the road, is another part of the budget that Deputy Doyle finds difficult to digest.
‘It was ready for tender by Wicklow County Council this year, and now the funding has been cut again according to this budget. We are also told that it might or might not be re-tendered in 2010.
‘This is in spite of the fact that the project is vital for the safety of the local communities , that there are high numbers of preventable accidents and deaths on this section and that two rounds of pointless tendering is wasting large amounts of needed money.’
FG’s Andrew Doyle.