Browne says Covid spending must not result in austerity

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Martin Browne, TD (Sinn Fein)

Sinn Fein TD Martin Browne has said that a wealth tax can provide one source of revenue that would help to pay the substantial bill that the state will be left with as a result of the Covid-19 crisis while reviewing the cost of the temporary acquisition of private hospitals could go towards reducing the mounting bill.

The Cashel-based TD went on to accuse the government of paying above the odds for the temporary acquisition of the country’s private hospitals. This, he said needs to be addressed, while he further called for vital surgeries and procedures to take place in these hospitals, while there is no demand for Covid-19 beds.

‘ordinary people cannot be made pay again’

The fine that Apple was ordered to pay Ireland and which remains in an escrow account was another issue that the SF TD attacked the government on, saying that the legal arguments opposing the fine should be left up to the corporation itself to pay for, as, he noted, money is draining from the escrow account all the time.

When it comes to the future of the Covid-19 Unemployment Payment, he is of the opinion that it should continue for as long as people need it. It would, he said, keep money circulating locally, and would help with the survival of local businesses.

Referring to the experience of austerity following the financial crash, the SF Deputy said that ‘ordinary people cannot be made pay again, especially when the EU is providing more flexibility for member states than they did in 2008’.