Cork North West TD Michael Creed has called on the Minister for Finance and his Cabinet colleagues to prioritize a staged reduction in the USC over the coming years. Commenting on the publication of the latest Exchequer figures Deputy Creed said:

“While it is crucial that we continue to meet our targets in terms of reducing the deficit, it is now clear that there is a real recovery taking hold in our economy. The forthcoming budget must map out a strategy for bringing this recovery to every household in the Country between now and the end of this Governments term. Laying out a timeline for the reduction of the USC is one clear initiative which can spread the rewards of recovery wider and farther than other measures such as public pay increases”.

“The USC has been the tangible burden of the economic crisis visible in all pay packets over the past number of years. It is important that Government can signal a return to ‘normal’ economic circumstances by reducing the burden of the USC which was first introduced as a solidarity contribution to the economic recovery. Reducing the USC would be a positive initiative that would put money back in the pockets of hard pressed families. This in turn can lead to increased consumption in the domestic economy and act as an economic stimulus”.

“Calls from some quarters to consider increasing public sector pay are premature at this juncture. As an economy we must remain competitive and attractive to investment. A push to inflate wage demands does not help. Cutting the punitive USC goes further in increasing everybody’s wages without placing an extra burden on employers”.

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