Fine Gael senators in Budget push for new 30pc tax rate


Fine Gael senators are pushing for a new tax rate of 30pc for people on middle incomes, public transport discounts to be made permanent and income brackets for childcare to be increased in the Budget.

ánaiste Leo Varadkar has said “very significant” reductions on childcare and college costs, as well as tax cuts for middle income earners, are a priority for the party in Budget 2023.

Fine Gael senators will this week push through a Seanad motion on the cost of living, which will include cuts to childcare, tax and public transport.

Senior Cabinet ministers this morning decided that other Government TDs and senators will not oppose the motion.

Senator Martin Conway said that the rising cost of living is leading to a return in the “rip-off Republic”.

He said high prices for hotel rooms – despite the Government extending the lowered VAT rate of 9pc until the end of the year – is a signs of a “rip-off Republic”.

Fine Gael’s Seanad leader Regina Doherty said public transport cuts of 20pc and half price fares for young people should be made permanent.

“It was a great initiative to see a reduction in public transport but I’d like to see it made permanent,” she said.

She referenced a system in Berlin where public transport costs €9 a week maximum and said it would be “absolutely lovely” to see it replicated in Ireland.

Ms Doherty also said that people pay the higher rate of tax “far too early” in Ireland.

Meanwhile Tánaiste Leo Varadkar refused to comment on the senators’ motion, saying he did not want to speculate about the Budget.

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