They may have shared a table, air-time and sat side-by-side at last evening’s live debate on Drivetime on RTÉ Radio One from the River Island Hotel. However, Fianna Fáil’s John Brassil and Martin Ferris, Sinn Féin are back in opposite corners this morning – and the gloves are off over a policy difference on the welfare of workers under a government which might include either of the two parties.
Cllr. Brassil said that the Sinn Féin proposals are bad for ‘working people’ while Deputy Ferris countered with a claim that it was Cllr. Brassil’s party that ‘screwed’ workers in Kerry.
Sinn Féin’s Proposald are Bad for Working People – Brassil
Cllr. John Brassil claimed that Sinn Féin’s proposal to restrict the ability of people to save for their retirement, is bad for working people.
Cllr. Brassil says workers earning more than €33,800 – who make a pension contribution – would see their take home pay reduced as a result of Sinn Fein’s proposals.
The Ballyheigue based pharmacist said that a single person earning €50,000 and making a typical pension contribution of 6% would lose €600 under Sinn Féin’s proposal.
‘John Brassil represents a party that screwed workers in Kerry’ – Ferris
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has said that Fianna Fáil’s John Brassil represents the party that wrecked the economy and screwed working families across Kerry. The Sinn Féin TD was responding to an inaccurate statement from Councillor Brassil about some of Sinn Féin’s policies.
“John Brassil may like to distance himself from the decisions his party made, but the truth is that he represents the party that wrecked the economy and decimated communities across Kerry. Fianna Fáil screwed working families when they introduced the pension and income levies and then the universal social charge.
“Councillor Brassil has deliberately tried to misrepresent our policies when the truth is that the vast majority of workers and families would be better off under Sinn Féin’s plans.
“Sinn Féin has committed to abolish the Water Charges and Property Tax, Fianna Fáil has not. Sinn Féin has committed to ending third level fees, Fianna Fáil wants to freeze them at €3000.
“Sinn Féin will also abolish prescription charges and roll out free GP care which will put money back in people’s pockets.
“Our proposals for standardising pension tax reliefs are about fairness. They will not impact on over 50% of workers who will continue to claim relief at the current rate, or the 830,000 workers who do not have a private pension.
“For the remaining workers we will be reducing it from 40% to 20% gradually over the lifetime of the government.
“Even someone on €40,000 who is able to invest in a pension fund would be substantially better off next year under Sinn Féin.”