McGrath: Government has lost moral compass

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The Government has been accused of being heartless by a Tipperary TD at a time when the state coffers are overflowing.

Deputy Mattie McGrath says the decision to restore excise on diesel and petrol along with the return to the 13.5% VAT rate for the hospitality sector will have huge consequences.

The leader of the Rural Independent Group of TDs says the state could afford to hold off on the excise increase.

“They tell you the coffers are bursting with excess finances – but they just pushed that and voted that through the lobbies. The same with the hospitality industry – they had a very difficult year made even more difficult this year because of the lack of hotel beds because of the influx of refugees and others. And now that they’re on their knees altogether they really want to rise the VAT at the most inopportune time for those small businesses and customers.”

However the Independent TD says the coalition are not for turning.

“We brought forward a motion – I brought forward and the Rural Independents – supported by a good number of people but the Government have the majority of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Greens and some so called Independents that consistently vote with them and put these punitive measures on the people. So it’s time for the people to wake up and resist. The Government don’t care – they’ve lost any sense of moral compass with regards people suffering. There’s no need whatsoever to raise the VAT and excise on fuel at this point in time.”