There are various proposals being discussed over the past few weeks about how most members of the public would be able to share in the economic recovery. While pay restoration to public servants is something that has to be considered, I believe that a commitment to reduce the Universal Social Charge is a measure that would put money into more people’s pockets than any other proposal. Introduced in 2011, this levy on people’s incomes is very unfair and a reduction in the rates would directly benefit the vast majority of lower paid workers. I would urge the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure to include this proposal in their budget for later this year. The entire population of the country, particularly the lower paid, have paid dearly during the recession and now that the economy is improving this is a proposal that would put money into people’s pockets and that would in turn have a positive effect on the local economies all around the country. The vast majority of workers fall into the 17,500 Euro to 70,000 Euro earnings bracket and they are currently paying a USC rate of 7%. I am calling for a substantial reduction in that rate in the budget later this year.
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