herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Budget 2015: Mary Lou given the boot after row over SF speech

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald

SINN Fein's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald was given the boot from the Dail chamber after accusing the Ceann Comhairle of displaying bias.

The Dublin TD was dramatically excluded after claiming that Sean Barrett had tried to "deliberately disrupt" her speech in reaction to Budget 2015.

Ms McDonald may now be forced to write a letter of apology to Mr Barrett if she wishes to be readmitted to the chamber.

The row between the Ceann Comhairle and the senior Sinn Fein politician escalated only hours after a suite of tax cuts and spending measures were unveiled by the two finance ministers.

breadline

Fine Gael and Labour politicians believe the range of sweeteners in the Budget will help their parties win back their core support ahead of the general election.

TDs and senators from both coalition parties breathed a sigh of relief last night in response to the range of income tax cuts, child benefit increases and spending stimulus packages.

Labour figures believe the huge €2.2bn three-year spend on social housing and the increase in the homeless budget illustrates the party's pledge to assist those on the breadline.

"This is the first time where we can really see the end of austerity," the party's Dublin Mid-West TD Robert Dowds told the Herald.

"We cannot have a situation where people don't have a home, and this budget will address that."

Labour TD for Cork South West Michael McCarthy said the Budget shows that "payback time" has arrived.

Fine Gael politicians were also buoyant in their assessment of the long-anticipated Bud-get.

Dublin North TD Alan Farrell said he believes the Budget would have been "unthinkable" three years ago.

"While modest in terms of giving back to people, it's a step in the right direction and, with continued growth, will allow us to ensure everybody benefits as our economy continues to improve," he told the Herald.

Senator Catherine Noone said the Budget represents a "good balancing act" in terms of income tax and USC.

As expected, the Budget came under criticism from the Opposition. Fianna Fail TD Barry Cowen said families will continue to struggle with water charges despite the tax relief and subsidy measures.

hnews@herald.ie

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