The Social Democrats have reacted strongly to a leaked report of Fine Gael’s guide for canvassers, describing it as “fundamentally dishonest”. The guide recommends that canvassers attack the Social Democrats for their preference to invest in quality public services rather than eroding the tax base.
Commenting on the guide, Stephen Donnelly stated “We’re flattered that Fine Gael have given over more space to attacking us than to the other parties. However, there’s no excuse for them peddling mistruths to their own canvassers about us – they should be ashamed of themselves.
“The Fine Gael guide suggests that under our approach, the tax liability for a worker on €35,000 could increase by €8,000. In fact, our budget proposals on taxation would reduce taxes for such workers. Further, by targeting the costs of living, as we propose, people would see many of their household bills fall, including water charges, insurance, childcare and energy.
“At the same time, by not eroding the tax base, we would help protect Ireland against an increasingly volatile global economy, and avoid another lost decade. We would also protect billions of euro of revenue a year for investment in areas including healthcare, housing, education and the productive infrastructure that supports Irish businesses.
“If Fine Gael want an honest debate on the best path for Ireland to take, we’re ready and willing. Stooping to the level of misinforming their own people is, quite frankly, pathetic.”