DONOHOE 'NO' TO TAX HIKES; CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: RAYS OF HOPE AT CHURCH AND IN THE DAIL »Finance Minister Fears Crippling Economy ».But He Says Welfare Support Must Change

The Mirror (London, England), May 7, 2020 | Go to article overview

DONOHOE 'NO' TO TAX HIKES; CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: RAYS OF HOPE AT CHURCH AND IN THE DAIL »Finance Minister Fears Crippling Economy ».But He Says Welfare Support Must Change


Byline: FERGHAL BLANEY Political Correspondent

PASCHAL Donohoe has promised he won't hike taxes to pay for the coronavirus recession.

The Finance Minister said it would be counterproductive to hit people with increases just when they are trying to get back on their feet.

Doing so would mean they have less money to spend which could cripple the economy even further at a time when recovery is essential.

But Mr Donohoe also warned the coronavirus welfare supports - for one million unemployed and workers - of between [euro]350 and [euro]410 a week are not sustainable indefinitely.

He told RTE's Morning Ireland the payments have to change and the Government will decide on the new more "sustainable" rates which will apply from next month.

Labour TD Ged Nash criticised the minister's comments, saying now is the time for the Government to provide reassurance for people left out of work because of the pandemic.

Pledging no tax cuts, Mr Donohoe said: "I think it's important that as any decisions are being made we minimise the taxes that could have an effect on people getting back to work.

"To look at what is happening in 2020 alone, incomes are falling and if on top of falling incomes we increase taxes as well, that will make the job of Ireland getting back to work even harder." On cutting the coronavirus payments, the minister added: "They're costing hundreds of millions of euro per week and what I and the Government aim to do is change those payments in a way that is affordable and which also makes sense for our citizens.

"At the earliest opportunity to outline their paths going forward, the Government will do that." But PLEDGE Mr Donohoe hitting back, Mr Nash said: "Ireland needs to give a clear commitment to workers now that supports will remain until sectors are fully reopened and they should be no worse off having lost their job due to the actions of the State in shutting down the economy. "We are all in this effort together to stop Covid-19 and solidarity should not be abandoned now for those who can least afford it.

"From media comments over recent days it is clear ministers are considering how to cut payments which is deeply ironic coming the day after the May Bank Holiday, a weekend associated with the celebration of the worker. …

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