Cork South Central Fine Gael TD and Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has today criticised the Fianna Fáil fuelled media speculation about the Universal Social Charge (USC) as irresponsible and wrong.
“I am incredulous at today’s attempts by Fianna Fáil to scaremonger on the matter of the USC exemption for older people.
“Our Minister for Finance Michael Noonan is already on the record saying that it is a priority for this Government to cut the very high rate of tax paid by families on average incomes. Any such measure would include looking again at the changes in the USC already legislated for by the previous Fianna Fail Government.
“Fianna Fáil designed the USC so that the special low rate of 4% for certain categories including older people would lapse. By comparison, we are very clear that everyone aged 70 and over will continue to benefit from the lower 4% rate of USC rate on all income below €60k.
“Fianna Fáil should stop this scaremongering. They hardly need reminding that this measure is the legacy of a deal they struck to gain support from Independent TDs before the last election. It was the current Government that took 330,000 workers out of the USC net in its first budget in October 2011. We were seeking to right the wrongs perpetrated by the previous Government and protect the vulnerable people who had been so badly affected by the economic crash.
“We will continue to do this and remain committed to our mission to restore jobs, stability and economic growth to this country. Fianna Fáil should stop scaremongering from the side-lines about a policy they introduced and designed in such a way that the special exemptions would lapse long after they had crawled away from a shambolic Government, leaving carnage in their wake.”