Ex-Comrades in Council shoot out over tax cuts : the chronicle.ie

Ex-Comrades in Council shoot out over tax cuts

| April 8, 2014

A bitter pre-election clash erupted at Monday night’s meeting of Wexford Boro0ugh Council between two former Labour Party comrades over how revenue from an economic situation should be distributed.The clash between Labour Mayor, George Lawlor and his former party colleague, Davy Hynes, who now sits as an independent followed a motion from Cllr Hynes calling on the government to consider reversing ‘some of the horrendous cuts to benefits, including child benefit and medical cards and also seeking cost of living increases for social welfare recipients instead of a proposal to cut taxes, which Cllr Hynes said would benefit the better off.

 

But there were angry exchanges between the proposer of the motion and the top table when the Mayor accused the independent member of abandoning the working poor with the wording of his motion.

But Cllr Hynes strongly denied that he was opposed to an easing of the tax burden on lower paid workers. ‘They did not cause the problem’, he said

However, he insisted that Ireland was not a high tax economy and refused to amend his motion which called on any return from uplift in the economy to be used to reverse social welfare cuts and to improve benefits.

But the Mayor said people in a welfare trap and on modest incomes deserved to have the burden on them lifted.

Cllr Jim Allen said people were hitting the high rate of tax soon soon and were caught in a social welfare trap as a result.

His party colleague Phil Roche said couples where one partner had a salary around €30,000 and where the other was on a three day week were struggling to pay their mortgages. ‘They are being forgotten’, she insisted.

Cllr Padge Reck said Ireland was no country for old people. If he was in his twenties himself he would leave the State. He said there were many people who were old, cold and not able to buy coal.

Cllr Joe Ryan said the motion was too narrowly focused. There were many public servants on very low incomes that would benefit from a tax break.

Cllr Anna Fenlon said she accepted that people had to make a lot of sacrifices in an effort to turn the economy around. Now that it was happening it would be totally wrong to follow the path suggested by some councillors and put it all at risk again.

The motion was defeated on the grounds that it was too narrow and did not address the issue of low income workers who would benefit from a tax break.

Fianna Fail councillor Paddy Nolan  abstained on the vote. He said the man criticising the cuts, (Cllr  Davy Hynes) had been supporting them up to a few months ago and he did not want anything to do with it.

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