Left-wingers would have raised taxes - Siptu boss
WORKERS would be paying more in tax today if a left-wing government had gained power in 2011, Siptu president Jack O'Connor has admitted.
Mr O'Connor said a coalition involving left-wing parties would have ramped up taxes so as to sustain properly funded public services.
The union leader said the public needs to be "told these truths" and that politicians must "say it as it is".
The admission is significant given that Mr O'Connor is vigorously campaigning for Labour to be part of a so-called "alliance of the left".
He has called on the party to stop ruling out Sinn Fein as a potential coalition partner.
"If we had a left agenda, a left government in Ireland for the last four years, they might well be more unpopular than this one," Mr O'Connor said.
"Because a left government would have increased taxation to sustain public services. They would have required the rich to pay more, but they would have required everybody else to pay a little bit more as well."
Speaking at a fringe event organised by the so-called Labour Values group, Mr O'Connor criticised the position that Labour will not do business with Sinn Fein or other left wing groups.
"I don't think we should stand on our laurels and insist on talking to nobody," he said.
However, also addressing the event, Dublin Mid West TD Joanna Tuffy said she does not feel she could enter coalition with some groups.
"I feel I have very little in common with them. I don't feel they want to go into government. I think some of their tactics are totally unacceptable," she said.