Sinn Féin Unveil Alternative Budget Focusing On Energy Price Caps

Sinn Féin's Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty - Getty Images

Sinn Féin is proposing cuts to USC and a cap on energy prices, as part of its alternative budget announced today.

The measures are outlined in the party’s alternative cost-of-living package, which would see electricity prices frozen at rates last seen during the summer of last year.

With just days to go until the €6.7b Budget 2023, Sinn Féin has launched its alternative plan, with a range of measures that would cost 9.5billion if the the party was in power.

They include increasing social welfare payments by €17.50 a week and the state pension by €15.

The centrepiece of its proposed cost of living package is capping energy costs, which finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty says is being rolled out across the EU:

In March the European Commision set out in their toolbox that this is one of the options that governments could do in terms of price certainty for consumers and that’s why so many countries across Europe have done it.”

The alternative budget also allocates €1.5m to fund a citizen assembly investigating a united Ireland.

Party leader Mary Lou McDonald says it’s should be an urgent matter, given Northern Ireland recent census results:

Its a modest allocation in the budget, but we don’t need huge sums of money to get this underway. We need a government that is realistic enough and ambitious enough to frame and shape this discussion.”

Sinn Fein’s plan also proposes cutting the lowest rate of USC from 0.5% to 0%, and introducing a 3% “solidarity tax” for those earning above €140,000 annually.