Budget 2023 must tackle cost of living say Regional TDs

In News by Denis Naughten

Budget Submission 2023

The Regional Group of independent TDs held a meeting with Ministers Donohoe and McGrath this afternoon where they outlined a series of measures needed to tackle the cost of living and to support families and businesses struggling to meet those costs.

With transport costs affecting every home in the country, the Regional  Group wants to see the current school transport debacle addressed, students provided with free transport and the 20% reduction in fares apply to all public transport regardless of the provider.

The Regional Group also wants an increase in the dental and medical expenses tax relief from 20% to 30% to support the cost of illness and to assist families disabilities and mental health needs who are now forced to go private to access medical assessments, reports, and treatments for their disabled children. The Group is also seeking to address the financial challenges for families associated with the availability of affordable childcare.

Housing costs for all families are at historic levels and the Regional Group is seeking innovative ways to ease this by bringing vacant housing back into use, assisting older people to downsize where they wish to do so, revise Council housing grants and support all families, regardless of income, to retrofit their homes.

Businesses have also witnessed a doubling and trebling of utility costs and practical measures need to be included in Budget 2023 to assist them as well as removing a range of administrative barriers which are effectively excluding SMEs from accessing supports.

On agriculture investment is needed that clearly reflects the significant climate challenge faced by the sector between now and 2030. Included in the Regional Group’s proposals is the establishment of a €50m agricultural emissions reduction fund to urgently focus on practical measures to reduce not just carbon but also ammonia on farms.

The Group is also proposing measures to facilitate wireless broadband providers extending their coverage so that more families have access to high-speed broadband pending the completion of the National Broadband Plan.

But it is not just on the cost side movement is needed in Budget 2023. Barriers also need to be removed within our taxation code and welfare system that stop people taking up employment or taking on additional work. In all cases our system must always make work pay.

It is imperative that welfare rates are increased to the equivalent of cost of living increases over the last year and all income thresholds for supplementary supports and housing must be reflective of the current economic situation.

Responding to the proposals Ministers Donohoe & McGrath outlined the scope of the flexibility they have for Budget 2023 and for additional measures over the winter period. Both sides agreed to continue further bi-lateral engagement with line Ministers over the coming weeks in the run up to Budget Day itself.

 

ENDS.

Pre budget submission attached

 

Contact:

Cathal Berry TD Mobile: 087 879 1806

Sean Canney TD Mobile: 086 251 3639

Peter Fitzpatrick TD Mobile: 086 251 2577

Noel Grealish TD Mobile: 086 850 9466

Michael Lowry TD Office: 0504 20739/22022

Verona Murphy TD Mobile: 087 253 2720

Denis Naughten TD Mobile: 086 170 8800

Matt Shanahan TD Mobile: 086 268 1551