“Five years ago the country was at its lowest ebb. The IMF had taken over the running of our economy. For those left in employment, Fianna Fáil introduced the Universal Social Charge which saw people’s take home pay severely reduced.
“Five years on Fianna Fáil has shown that when push comes to shove, it has no intention of reducing the impact of the USC on taxpayers. In the recent alternative budget presented by Fianna Fáil it refused to drop the main rate of USC on hard pressed low and middle income earners. They also voted to oppose cuts to the USC introduced by the Government in the last two budgets. In doing so they have reinforced their reputation as the high tax/high spend party.
“This Government has reduced the rate of USC on low and middle income earners and we will get rid of it over the lifetime of the next government, providing that our finances allow for it. We are committed to abolishing the USC because we implicitly understand that the sustainable reduction of our high taxes is good for our economy. Lower taxes support jobs and high taxes kill jobs. That’s a fact. Fianna Fáil doesn’t know where to start when it comes to job creation as evidenced by their lack of a jobs policy.
“In January, taxpayers will see a reduction in their USC for the second consecutive year. We have consciously reduced the tax burden because people in this country pay too much tax.
“Five years on from the introduction of the USC we are seeing economic progress, with over 135,000 more people at work, but we cannot take for granted that stability and recovery will continue.
“The next election will be about who can be trusted to keep the recovery going, based on stability and progress as opposed to instability and chaos. We cannot go back to the same old Fianna Fáil who wrecked the economy, have learned nothing from the past and still has no plan to create jobs or ensure our economic recovery.”