Three Financial Resolutions are being discussed together. Fianna Fáil supports two of them but opposes one, which means we must vote against all three because the resolutions will be grouped in the vote.
Fianna Fáil opposes Financial Resolution No. 7 on changing the universal social charge for people over the age of 70 years on the basis that it is too timid and does not go far enough. Our budget proposal was to increase the universal social charge for those earning more than €70,000 and increase it even more for those earning more than €100,000. One of the biggest flaws of the budget is that it does not increase taxes for high earners. I know the Government did not want to touch tax rates, but it could have touched the universal social charge. It could have obtained extra revenue from those earning very high salaries and in receipt of very high pensions. It picked on one particular group of elderly persons. I agree that this should be done and support what has been proposed, but I must vote against it because I do not believe it is sufficient. The Government had an opportunity to further increase the universal social charge for persons on much higher incomes and on this basis it is too timid and does not go far enough. It lets high income earners off.