Best Protection against Brexit – boost workers and pensions income by cutting USc and increased spending on Public and Affordable Housing
No to regressive carbon taxes – Tax the polluting corporations to free fund public transport and a major National home insulation campaign
People Before Profit have launched their alternative budget titled System Change – an alternative budget for People and Planet
The launch was attended by finance spokesperson, Richard Boyd Barrett TD and Bríd Smith TD and Gino Kenny TD
The central message of People Before Profit’s alternative budget was that faced with the multiple risks of a hard Brexit, a possible International downturn, the crises in housing and health and the climate emergency, what was needed was a radical package to increase investment in public and affordable housing, climate measures and to boost the incomes of workers, pensioners and social welfare recipients.
This package would amount to €8 billion additional current expenditure and €11 billion in additional capital expenditure.
People Before Profit said additional investment and spending should not be financed by borrowing but through addressing corporate tax loopholes and other tax measures to redistribute wealth and income.
People Before Profit said that the proposal of an additional $3.4 billion on the direct provision of public and affordable housing by Local Authorities would ultimately pay for itself by phasing out currently ballooning expenditure on HAP schemes.
People Before Profit also said they opposed increases in Carbon Taxes affecting ordinary households and workers and said that radical climate measures such as free public transport and a major National insulation programme and investment in renewable energy sources should be funded by taxing the profits of polluting corporations and industries.
To boost incomes for workers, People Before Profit proposed abolition of USC for those earning less than €90,000, abolishing regressive taxes and increasing basic social welfare and pension rates.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “With the real risk of a hard Brexit, a new international recession, a climate emergency and major crises in housing and health, we need radical measures designed to achieve system change.
Tweaking at the edges of a system that is simply not working or even worse a new round of austerity is simply not good enough. We need the boldness and imagination of the school climate strikers who are calling for “system change”.
“We are proposing to dramatically ramp up expenditure in public and affordable housing, radical climate measures and measures to boost the incomes of workers, pensioners and those who depend on social welfare, as the best protection against the multiple risks we face.
“We reject the false choice of funding these measures through new debts or through regressive and divisive forms of taxation such as carbon taxes or local property tax. The untold story of Ireland’s economy is that the wealth, profits and incomes of the richest in our society have increased enormously over recent years – largely as a result of corporate tax loopholes – while the majority in society continue to struggle.
“For example, since 2013 private household wealth has increased by €300 billion to €740 billion, with the richest 10% owning 54% of this wealth. In the same period the incomes of the wealthiest 10% have dramatically increased, with the richest 200,000 earners now earning an average of €180,000 each versus a median wage for ordinary workers of €29,000 per year.
“Since 2003 the tax contribution of ordinary workers has gone from €13 billion to €21 billion, while the biggest and wealthiest corporations are paying pitiful rates of tax on profits because of tax loopholes.
“We propose to radically change this unfair and unequal situation by redistributing wealth in our society to fund the economic transformation and system change needed to protect our society’s and planet’s futures.”
Read System Change – an alternative budget for People and Planet below:2020 Budget Final