Labour New Election Promises-For Breaking

Scrool Down for Labour Deception on Tax To Protect the Rich , “TESCO AD” and Extracts from Labour Election Manifesto in Last Election( 2011)

Siptu boss tells Labour to resolve leader crisis and do deal with FG

Philip Ryan Iris Independent Published 14/04/2016 | 02:30

Jack O’Connor at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke1
Jack O’Connor at Leinster House yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke

SIPTU President Jack O’Connor has urged Labour to quickly resolve the issue around the party’s leadership as speculation mounts over acting Tánaiste Joan Burton’s future.

During a private meeting in Leinster House, Mr O’Connor also told Labour officials the party should seek commitments on pay and investment in public service in return for supporting a Fine Gael-led minority government from the opposition.

Doorsteps Cry Out Against Broken Promises – Seamus Healy TD

The most consistent and angriest complaint on the door steps is of broken promises and the resultant targeting of those on low and middle incomes for cuts and new taxes.

When considering promises and announcements by Labour and Fine Gael in this General Election Campaign, voters are considering what happened to the promises they made in the last General Election Campaign.

The Public have been pointing out to me the litany of broken promises which include:

> St. Michael’s Unit.
At a local level, Labour Leader Eamonn Gilmore, promised to protect South Tipperary General Hospital. Labour Minister, Kathleen Lynch, in government, closed down St Michael’s Psychiatric Unit in Clonmel and transferred it to Kilkenny.

> Hospital Trolleys
We will “end the scandal of Hospital Trolleys” said Enda Kenny. The result is Trolley Chaos in our Emergency Departments, the closure of 2,000 hospital beds, the loss of 11,000 health staff and the loss of 2 million home help hours.

> Water Tax
Through the 2011 General Election TESCO AD and in its election manifesto, The Labour Party promised to prevent the introduction of domestic water tax. In government they agreed to introduce this tax and Minister Alan Kelly is now implementing it.

>Child Benefit
In the 2011 General Election Tesco AD, the Labour Party said it would prevent Fine Gael reducing Child Benefit. Labour leader Joan Burton, in government, did the opposite and cut Child Benefit.

>FAMILY HOME TAX
Fine Gael Leader, Enda Kenny, said “ It Is Morally Wrong, Unjust and Unfair to Tax a Person’s Home”. But in Government, he introduced this unfair tax.

>Lone Parents
Speaking in the Dáil on 18th April 2012, Minister Joan Burton said she would only proceed with plans to reform the One Parent Family Payment by 2014/15 if she got a “credible and bankable commitment” by the time of Budget 2013 that the Irish Government would put in place “a system of safe, affordable and accessible child care, similar to what is found in the Scandinavian countries to whose systems of social protection we aspire”.

Minister Burton went ahead with the changes without any such child care system being in place.

> Crime
Enda Kenny promised to increase the Garda Force by 2,000 Gardaí. The result was 2,000 less Gardaí, 130 Garda Station closed and increased levels of rural crime.

>Heating Allowances

Then there was the Labour Manifesto promise to invest in ending fuel poverty which causes unnecessary deaths of older people every winter. “However, Labour will also take immediate action to alleviate the risk of fuel poverty in the short term by reinvesting €40 million from the
carbon tax to alleviate fuel poverty, and by developing a national fuel
poverty strategy as set out in Labour’s Fuel Poverty and Energy
Conservation Bill.” Labour Party Manifesto 2011.

Instead, the heating allowances were cut by the Labour Leader

The Public are fed up of broken promises. They are taking the recent spate of promises from all the political parties with a large dose of salt.

The Door Steps say Don’t Believe Them and Don’t Let It Happen Again!

Seamus Healy TD

Tel : 087-2802199

08/02/2016

Motion of NO Confidence in Tánaiste  Speech by Seamus Healy TD From Dáil Record

Deputy Seamus Healy:   I rise in support of this Private Members’ motion of no confidence in the Tánaiste. We were promised a democratic revolution after the last general election. Of course, this is certainly not the case as we have seen time and again since then. In the past week, we have seen that cronyism is alive and well and at the heart of Government and that a “get out” clause is being used not just by the Tánaiste but by other Ministers to appoint party members and cronies to State boards. We were told that we would have transparency and accountability, a democratic revolution, Dáil reform and appointments to State boards that would be fully transparent. In the case of Mr. Begg, Ms Mangan and others, we find that there was no advertising,stateboards.ie and the Public Appointments Service were not used and there was no short-listing of candidates. These were personal appointments by the particular Ministers.

Even if the advertising took place and stateboards.ie and the Public Appointments Service were used, it would be a smokescreen for cronyism because we know about the formula this Government is using in respect of appointments to State boards – two for Fine Gael and one for the Labour Party. We have seen this not just in this Government but in previous ones. We noticed that Fianna Fáil is criticising the Tánaiste in respect of this. This is like the pot calling the kettle black. Other speakers have said that coming up to the last election, Fianna Fáil made something like 60 appointments to State boards.

The appointment of Mr. Begg in particular has raised significant problems. He had the audacity and gall to suggest that €20,000 was not a crock of gold. I would have thought that as a former trade union chief, he would be well aware of the fact that 125,000 workers earn less than €20,000 per year. Surely he would be aware that a family of two adults and two children on social welfare exist on less than €20,000 per year. How dare he suggest that €20,000 is not a crock of gold. It may not be to him but to thousands upon thousands of part-time workers, low-paid workers and families on social welfare, it is effectively only an existence.

I believe that Mr. Begg is particularly unsuited to this job as chair of the Pensions Authority. Mr. Begg was a member of the board of the Central Bank from 2003 to 2007. This board allowed the financial system as a whole to borrow 50% of GDP. We are not talking about individual banks. We are talking about the financial system as a whole. This board, including Mr. Begg, allowed that system to borrow 50% of GDP. Nobody called a halt, not even Mr. Begg. That level of borrowing was ruinous. The recently retired former Governor of the Central Bank, Professor Patrick Honohan, said that this level of borrowing was hitherto unprecedented. This level of borrowing led to austerity, the bust and the devastation of families across this country. I believe that Mr. Begg, who signed off on the financial stability reports of the Central Bank during those years, is particularly unsuited to and not qualified for this particular appointment.

Broken promises and the breaking and reneging on of commitments made in the course of a general election have also been part and parcel of this Government as of previous Governments. The Labour Party in particular has broken every promise and commitment it made during the course of the last general election. It was opposed to water charges but the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Kelly, is implementing water charges. Does the Tánaiste remember the “Tesco” advertisement? It said there would be no cuts to child benefit but there were cuts. The Department of Social Protection has been devastated by this Minister. I support the motion.

 

 

 

 

Jan 14  Labour promises childcare for €2 an hour -in five years time!

Would you believe this?  Irish Examiner

————————————————————————–

DEC 27    25 Euro Per Week Increase in Pensions- if Labour Gets an Overall Majority

Labour Burton Election Promise     Sunday Independent Dec 27 2015

If you believe that you’ll believe anything!!

Even if pensioners got the 25 Euro per week increase immediately rather than over  5 years as promised by Burton, they would be still losing money as shown below!

Labour’s Broken Promises in the last General Election(2011) are carried below

In the Budget for next year(2016), the old age pension is to be increased by 3 Euro per week. The weekly fuel allowance was increased by 2.50 per week applicable for 6 months- reduced from 32 weeks by Joan Burton in a previous budget. The Government had also abolished the smokeless fuel allowance of 3.90 per week.

In the same budget the richest 10,000 on 595,000 euro each per year are to get 20 euro per week in USC and Income Tax relief.

Since 2009, an older person living on the State pension and the Household Benefits package has seen their income cut by more than €13 per week. This includes cuts to home heating allowances and the telephone allowance by Joan Burton, Labour Party leader and Minister for “Social Protection”

AGE ACTION says that almost a hundred thousand older people are living in deprivation.

“We’re disappointed not to have heard anything so far about restoring the Telephone Allowance and particularly disappointed to have heard nothing yet on prescription charges.

These have risen 500 per cent since they were introduced and hit older people, who might have multiple prescriptions, particularly hard. It’s simply a tax on sick people.”

The outgoings of pensioners have also increased. In addition to prescription charges, Labour has also imposed Local Property Tax and Water Taxes on Pensioners irrespective of means or ability to pay

Between reductions in income and increase in outgoings, social welfare pensioners are losing much more than the 13 Euro per week in income reductions mentioned above. This takes no account of increased electricity and gas bills  and increases in bus fares or in inflation generally .

That Labour “TESCO AD” In Last General Election (2011)

“Fine Gael -Every Little Hurts!” a Labour Party ad from the 2011 General Election based on ads for Tesco. They appeared in newspapers during the campaign.

Labour Election Manifesto 2011

Water Charges

“Ensuring Access to Safe Water

Security of access to clean drinking water is essential for public health.

This has been undermined by recent scandals of polluted water

supplies, and drought caused by extreme weather.

Labour does not favour water charges,

which do not address the immediate needs of those who currently

receive intermittent or poor water supplies. Labour will continue to

invest in the water services programme as part of the capital budget,

focusing on minimising treated water lost through leakage.”

FUEL ALLOWANCES FOR THE POOR

Tackling Fuel and Energy poverty

“In the medium-term, our proposals will result in a cleaner, more secure,

more affordable supply of heat and electricity to Irish homes. However,

Labour will also take immediate action to alleviate the risk of fuel

poverty in the short term by reinvesting €40 million from the

carbon tax to alleviate fuel poverty, and by developing a national fuel

poverty strategy as set out in Labour’s Fuel Poverty and Energy

Conservation Bill.”

LABOUR MINISTER BURTON CUT CHILD BENEFIT BENEFIT TWICE DESPITE PROMISES To Stop Fine Gael Doing So (see Tesco AD Above)

Seamus Healy TD asks Labour Party to Reverse the cuts at Leaders Questions in Dáil

“My question for the Minister(Howlin Labour), if he will listen, is whether he will reverse the social welfare cuts, including, in particular, the cuts in child benefit, heating, fuel and telephone allowances for elderly people and the carer’s allowance.”

Deputy Seamus Healy(Workers and Unemployed Action):   The Minister has been inviting us to consider outcomes. Maybe we should examine some of the outcomes of the social and economic policy of this Government. The gap between rich and poor in Ireland is now four times the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, average. Incomes in the average Irish household have fallen by 50% and low income households lost a greater proportion of their income than the better off. The number of those in poverty has risen and the level of the poverty has deepened.

That is the view expressed recently by the OECD which confirmed the ESRI’s finding that budget 2014 had had the greatest impact on low income groups, the incomes of which had declined by 2%, and supported the claim by Social Justice Ireland that budget 2013 had been unjust and regressive. Social Justice Ireland stated:

For the second year in a row this Government has introduced a Budget that is deeply regressive, both socially and economically … Socially it hits people on low incomes, including the working poor, more than it hits the better off.

That is the result of the Government, the Labour Party in particular, reneging on the commitments given in the Programme for Government and during the 2011 general election. One of the most blatant examples is the cut in child benefit. During the 2011 general election the Labour Party took out Tesco-like advertisements and at every door its candidates told voters that Fine Gael wanted to cut child benefit.  Labour Party candidates asked the public to vote for them in order to stop child benefit cuts. The public put its trust in the Labour Party and what happened? The party has supported cuts in child benefit every year since it entered government.

An Ceann Comhairle:   I ask the Deputy to, please, put his question.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   My question for the Minister—–

Deputy Seamus Healy:   My question for the Minister, if he will listen, is whether he will reverse the social welfare cuts, including, in particular, the cuts in child benefit, heating, fuel and telephone allowances for elderly people and the carer’s allowance. Is the Labour Party not ashamed, in this the centenary year of the 1913 Lockout and the party’s foundation that it is introducing budgets that hit the low-paid rather than the super rich and the very wealthy?

Deputy Brendan Howlin(Labour):   I have listened to the usual political drivel from the Deputy opposite.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   It is true.

Deputy Brendan Howlin:   It may have escaped the Deputy – perhaps his salary and other supports are too healthy – that we have just gone through the worst economic crisis in the history of the State. The Government has managed to pick up the broken pieces of a shattered economy and returned it to growth. The critical criteria people will consider are fundamental issues such as employment. How many people have jobs? When we entered government, the unemployment figure was heading towards 500,000. The Deputy is not interested in listening to me. He is fumbling with his papers.

Deputy Kathleen Lynch:   He is preparing his second speech.

Deputy Brendan Howlin:   The unemployment rate is now falling. It is still too high, at 290,000, but we expect it to fall below 11% this year. Nobody would have believed this a few years ago. We have stabilised our budgets and torn up the prom note, that despicable arrangement made by the previous Administration. We have brought confidence back to the economy. That is the judgment people will make.

The Deputy referred to commitments made by my party. He may not have noticed that it is not in a single party Government. We did not win an overall majority in the last general election. We negotiated a programme for Government with a party which had won significantly more seats than we had. However, if one considers the balance between all of the commitments made by my party and Fine Gael to the people, one will see that the vast bulk have been delivered on. For some Deputies opposite, the very prospect of recovery and renewal is anathema to their political outlook. There are Deputies on the Opposition side who revel in the misfortune of the people and the State because they think they can make political capital from it.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   The policy of the Government is to make the poor and the less well-off pay.

Deputy Brendan Howlin:   That is a lie.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   It made promises with full knowledge of the situation in 2011. The assets of the super rich are back above peak levels in 2006, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Deputy Brendan Howlin:   What does that mean?

Deputy Seamus Healy:   It means that there are very wealthy people in this country (who should be taxed).

TAXATION

Labour Manifesto 2011 again:

Fair Taxation

Labour has long argued for a fair and balanced tax structure in Ireland and we will seek to renegotiate the EU/ IMF deal to achieve this objective. It is an important principle of taxation that those who have the most, must contribute the most, and that revenue-raising must begin with reform, rather than constantly delaying it as Fianna Fáil have done.”—

“We will extend the 10% USC rate to employee incomes over €100,000”

Needless to say, this was not done.

Instead, FG/LAB cut USC on very large incomes in Budjet 2016 giving 100 million Euro to the top 5% on 186,000 Euro per year each

Despite the warning in the “TESCO AD” (above) that a FG majority government would increase VAT by 2%, Labour agreed to this rise in VAT in the first budget of the new government!!!! VAT is a particularly unfair or regressive because those on low and middle incomes spend the vast bulk of their income in order to live  unlike the very rich. This change contributed to the situation in which the poorest 10% of the population pay the greatest proportion OF THEIR OWN INCOME in tax. (See post on this Blog : Poorest People Most Highly Taxed)

There was no increase in income tax or in USC on the rich during the lifetime of this government.

Local Property Tax- IMPOSED BY LABOUR ON ALL HOMEOWNERS Irrespective of Income

Labour Opposed Bill to Abolish the Tax in Dáil

Deputy Seamus Healy (Workers and Unemployed Action;South Tipperary) Speaking in Support of a Private members Bill to abolish the Tax:

I support the Bill. (to abolish the Local Property Tax) The Taoiseach said (During 2011 General election campaign) “it is morally wrong, unjust and unfair to tax a person’s home”. He has reneged on that promise as he has reneged on many another policy during his period in government.

This is a form of double taxation as we have already paid these taxes. It pays no regard to ability to pay. As other speakers have said, not a single extra cent will go to local authorities for local authority services. In the last four years, more than €534 million has been taken out of local authority budgets. This is a rip-off to pay the banks and the bondholders. We know that because the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government himself has told us. Speaking in the House on 21 February 2013 on the Motor Vehicles (Duties and Licences) Bill, the Minister, Deputy (Phil) Hogan, told us, stating: 

“In 2012, €46.5 million of motor tax income was transferred from the local government fund to the Exchequer. This year, an amount of up to €150 million will be similarly transferred. These are necessary measures towards the reduction of the national debt.”

Motor tax income is part of the local authority fund. We are paying banks and bondholders from the local government fund and replacing that fund with the hated local property tax. 

Local authority tenants will also have to pay the tax through their rent and lower and middle-income families who own their house, even if it is in huge negative equity and mortgage arrears, are compelled to pay this tax. It is a shameful item of regressive legislation, introduced with the support of the Labour Party. It is certainly not a property tax, it is a family home tax and is called a property tax to attempt to fool the population. It is a hated tax and the public are waiting for the opportunity to give the Government parties a bloody nose. They will do so in the local and European elections in 2014.

The Labour Party has played a despicable role in this and I call on members of trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party to instruct their unions immediately to stop taking the political levy from contributions. This is a method of sending a strong message to the Labour Party.

LABOUR DECEPTION ON TAX TO PROTECT THE RICH

Fintan O’Toole: The myth of Ireland’s progressive tax system

The top 10% pay 29% of their incomes in tax. The bottom 10% pay 28%

Irish Times Tue, Sep 29, 2015, 05:45

Fintan O’Toole

“The sleight-of-hand is more Tommy Cooper than Penn and Teller”.

 “The point of all the repetition is to suggest that those at the top need a break from all this world-beating fairness, while those at the bottom have nothing at all to complain about.

The funny thing about this truth is that it’s not true at all. It is, literally, not even a half-truth.”

If you got a euro every time you turned on the radio or opened a newspaper to be told that Ireland has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world, you’d be rich.

Except you wouldn’t be because Ireland has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world so the Government would take nearly all the money away from you and give it to the poor.

Repeat after me: “Ireland has one of the most progressive tax systems in the western world.” (Sunday Times editorial last Sunday)

“The deputy mentioned a progressive tax system but we have one of the most progressive tax systems in the world in Ireland (Enda Kenny, November 2014).

“We have the most progressive tax system in the OECD” (Michael Noonan, November 2014).

“We have one of the most progressive taxation systems in the world” (Chris Johns, The Irish Times, June 2014).

“Internationally, we have one of the most progressive tax systems in the world.” (Brian Hayes MEP, May 2015)

“[Ireland] has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world” (Alan Kelly, October 2014).

“The tax reforms of recent years mean that Ireland now has the most progressive tax system in the European Union” (Martin Phelan, president of the Irish Tax Institute, The Irish Times, November 2012).

“It should be acknowledged that Ireland has one of the most progressive tax systems in the world” (Michael Noonan, July 2014).

“Ireland now has one of the most progressive tax systems in the developed world” (Eamon Gilmore, October, 2013).

Deceptions

This is one of those memes that reproduces itself in a perfectly closed loop. It is that most dangerous of deceptions: a truth universally acknowledged. And therefore the logic that flows from it – that anyone who even talks about making the taxation system fairer by shifting the burden from the poor to the rich is an idiot – seeps into the groundwater of conventional wisdom, especially, as now, when a budget is in the offing.

The point of all the repetition is to suggest that those at the top need a break from all this world-beating fairness, while those at the bottom have nothing at all to complain about.

The funny thing about this truth is that it’s not true at all. It is, literally, not even a half-truth. In the way it’s expressed in each of the above quotes, it is a simple trick of language. If you ask the people who keep saying it what their evidence is they’ll always refer you to figures produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). But the OECD figures they cite don’t actually refer to “tax systems” at all. They use a very narrow measure – income tax paid by someone earning €55,000 compared to someone earning €22,000. Be that as it may, they undeniably refer solely and specifically to income tax. A “tax system” means corporate, capital, income, property, wealth, value added and every other form of taxation. Income tax in Ireland is, in terms of the revenue raised, just 41 per cent of the tax system. A claim about that 41 per cent is being systematically converted into a “truth” about the whole system.

The sleight-of-hand is more Tommy Cooper than Penn and Teller, but it works because it tells the right people what they want to hear. Hence the substitution of “tax system” for “income tax” has become almost automatic.

Last week’s report from the Irish Tax Institute, for example, actually reads: “Ireland has one of the most progressive income tax systems in the OECD”. This becomes, as reported in the Irish Independent on September 23rd, “The institute claims Ireland’s tax system is one of the most progressive in the developed world.” See what happened there?

Why does this matter? Because it distorts a key reality of Irish life: people at the bottom pay as much of their incomes in tax as those at the top. To hide something as outrageous as this you actually need two linguistic tricks. One is the ideological autocorrect that turns “income tax” to “tax system”.

The other intertwined claim, also repeated ad nauseam, is that huge numbers of people are completely “outside the tax net”, “pay no tax” or “contribute nothing to the national coffers”.

But everyone pays tax. There’s an apparently little-known tax called VAT. There are other indirect taxes. Almost all the tax paid by the bottom 30 per cent of households is indirect. Taxes on consumption are disproportionately paid by people on low incomes who have to spend all their money.

Regressive

The bottom 10 per cent of people pay nearly 30 per cent of their incomes in indirect taxes; the top 10 per cent pay 6 per cent, according to the Nevin Institute. The whole claim to having the most progressive “tax system” depends on ignoring the highly regressive nature of indirect taxes . What do you get if you count them back in? The top 10 per cent pay 29 per cent of their incomes in tax. The bottom 10 per cent pay 28 per cent. That’s progressive in the same sense that most of the discussion about this is honest.

 

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