Fine Gael senators are pushing for a new tax rate of 30 pc for middle-income earners in the budget, making the public transport exemption permanent and raising the income bracket for childcare.
ánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that “very significant” cuts in childcare and college costs, as well as tax cuts for middle-income earners, are a priority for the party in Budget 2023.
Fine Gael senators will this week move through a Senate proposal on the cost of living, which will include cuts to childcare, taxes and public transportation.
Senior cabinet ministers decided this morning that other government TDs and senators would not oppose the proposal.
Senator Martin Conway said the rising cost of living is leading to a return to the “Rip-Off Republic”.
He said higher prices for hotel rooms – despite the government extending a lower VAT rate of 9 pc by the end of the year – are a sign of a “rip-off republic”.
Regina Doherty, the Senate leader of Fine Gael, said the 20 percent cut in public transportation and half the fare for youth should be made permanent.
“It was a good initiative to see the reduction in public transport but I want to make it permanent,” she said.
She referred to a system in Berlin where public transport costs a maximum of €9 per week and said it would be “absolutely lovely” to replicate it in Ireland.
Ms Doherty also said people pay a higher tax rate in Ireland “very quickly”.
Meanwhile, Taniste Leo Varadkar declined to comment on the senators’ proposal, saying he did not want to speculate about the budget.