Yes you ARE bet­ter off, in­sists Leo as scep­ti­cism grows

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

TAOISEACH Leo Varad­kar has in­sisted that tax­pay­ers are sub­stan­tially bet­ter off af­ter the Bud­get in the face of grow­ing dis­quiet about its real im­pact.

‘When you re­duce taxes, you are not giv­ing peo­ple money, you are just al­low­ing them to keep more of their own money,’ he told the na­tional con­fer­ence of the Construction In­dus­try Fed­er­a­tion (CIF) in Croke Park yes­ter­day.

‘At a time of low in­fla­tion, Bud­get 2018 means that a fam­ily with a com­bined gross in­come of €60,000 is likely to be about one thou­sand euro bet­ter off in take­home pay this time next year be­cause of our tax changes and pro­jected av­er­age pay in­creases of 2%,’ he said. A num­ber of ex­perts have ar­gued that the ben­e­fits would be much the same if there had been no bud­get ‘largesse’ and the Govern­ment had sim­ply in­creased tax bands, cred­its and al­lowances to ac­count for in­fla­tion and wage rises.

The Taoiseach told builders at the con­fer­ence that he had re­tained the helpto-buy scheme for young house­hunters, a mea­sure the CIF had been strongly urg­ing.

He pointed out that the Govern­ment had also ‘ringfenced’ an ad­di­tional €4.1bil­lion for al­lo­ca­tion over the pe­riod to 2021 – on top of the ex­ist­ing Cap­i­tal Plan and the ex­tra €2.2bil­lion al­ready com­mit­ted to hous­ing.

The Taoiseach ac­knowl­edged peo­ple were scep­ti­cal about politi­cians an­nounc­ing ten-year plans, ‘but look at what we did in the last five years when we had lit­tle money.’

He listed new schemes the Govern­ment has backed such as the Luas Cross City; Páirc Uí Chaoimh; the Na­tional Gallery ex­ten­sion; the Na­tional Sports Cam­pus; the Green­ways; the new Na­tional Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal now un­der construction; Newlands Cross, the GortTuam mo­tor­way, the N11, 50 pri­mary care cen­tres, and 200 new schools.

‘Imag­ine what we can do in the next ten years if we had the money,’ he said.

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