October 5, 2017
A new land hoarding tax and an enhanced Affordable Housing Scheme for first-time buyers are among the key measures in the Social Democrats Alternative Budget for 2018 published today.
The budget proposals are aimed at cutting the cost of living, prioritising the delivering of quality public services for everyone, and ending the crisis of supply and affordability in housing.
The introduction of a new land hoarding tax is part of a range of strict measures to free up land and vacant sites and get the State building house.
Other proposals include: a new Affordable Housing Scheme for first time buyers; caps on rents nationwide; paid parental leave; a new Early Years payment; and the abolition of the Help to Buy Scheme which the party says has added to price inflation and worked against the interests of first time buyers.
The Social Democrats also call on the government to challenge the ludicrous EU fiscal rules which prevent investment in infrastructure such as housing, electricity, broadband, transport, water and third level education.
Speaking at the launch of the party’s Budget proposals in Dublin today, party co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said:
“Our Budget proposals are fundamentally about fairness and long-term planning – spending wisely now in order to save later. If we don’t pull out all the stops to tackle the homelessness emergency, the house rental crisis, and the serious infrastructure shortcomings facing the country, we are just shoring up problems for the future.”
The party’s joint leader Róisín Shortall TD added:
“At a time of unprecedented crises in our public services, particularly in the areas of housing and health, the last thing the country needs is populist tax cuts which amount to a few euros a week in some people’s pockets.
“The biggest beef most people have is not over income tax, but the fact that they have to fork out for everyday public services that people in other countries take for granted. We strongly believe that the best way to help everyone in our society is to focus on improving services such as healthcare, public transport, and education, and to offer people help with some key costs such as housing, insurance, and energy bills.”
The Social Democrats’ Budget proposals commit to implementing the Sláintecare 10-year reform plan to build a modern and efficient public health service for everyone, based on medical need rather than ability to pay.
This requires a substantial investment in primary care staff and infrastructure throughout the country, as well as the removal of hospital inpatient charges, a reduction in prescription charges and the phased extension of free GP care.
Additional measures are targeted at cutting the cost of living, boosting supports for indigenous businesses including start-ups, and the setting up of a special Brexit Fund to help diversify UK-dependent Irish companies.
5th October 2017
Notes to Editors:
1. The Social Democrats Alternative Budget 2018 is available here.
2. A Summary of the Alternative Budget provisions is below:
At a Glance: Planning for our Future: An Economy that Works for All Social Democrats Alternative Budget 2018
1. Spending Measures – Total €2.3bn, includin:
Housing – €560 million (€509m net), including:
Health-Sláintecare – €520 million, including:
Cost of Living – €580 million, including:
Child Poverty – €99 million, including:
Business & Infrastructure – €488 million, including:
Anti-Corruption Agency and Other Measures – €105 million, including:
2. Revenue Raising Measures – Total €1,002 million, including:
Read the full Alternative Budget Document 2017