Fine Gael has been accused of ‘the biggest u-turn’ in years over its plans for the Universal Social Charge.
It was confirmed yesterday that the charge will not be scrapped entirely, but instead merged with PRSI.
Fine Gael had campaigned on abolition of the charge, and the Programme for Government committed to phasing it out.
Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty says it is a clear u-turn from a Fine Gael policy in last year’s election.
“Look at the images on RTÉ, Leo Varadkar walking down the streets with the placards: ‘We will abolish the USC’, ‘Keep the recovery going’,” he said.
“Paschal Donohoe had those same placards, as did many of the ministers today. It is an embarrassment. It’s the biggest u-turn in my lifetime anyway in terms of the financial cost of it.”
Meanwhile Minister for Employment & Social Protection, Regina Doherty, denied a u-turn on the welfare fraud campaign and USC/PRSI merger.
She spoke to Cormac Ó’hEadhra on Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 and when asked about a u-turn said: “I’m not sure if you understand new politics.”
Listen to the interview in full here: