An Dail: Irish parliament

Opposition parties, Fine Gael and Labour published their alternative plans to the Governments spending proposals on Friday. Fine Gael detailed their alternative four year budget plan while the Labour Party published its proposals for next week’s budget.

Fine Gael’s plan aims to create 100,000 new jobs over a four year period while aiming to bring the budget deficit to within 3 percent of the GDP. It also aims to eliminate “tax loopholes” for the rich, which it maintains could raise $525 million next year alone.

It has proposed a reform of the social welfare system which it says will cut back on what it estimates is a $4 billion bill for annual social welfare fraud.

The party’s plan also proposes to cut tax relief in pensions greater than $79,000 and is committed to protecting pension relief for middle income families.

Fine Gael says job growth would be achieved by the abolition of the travel tax and tax paid by employers on staff earning less than $470 a week.

Labour’s budget plan seeks to introduce almost $9 billion in adjustments in the 2011 Budget., which would incorporate a $660million job creation fund.

The party also proposes to negotiate a three year wage freeze and would establish a “Fees Commission” to investigate and control professional fees.

It has also proposed plans for a Strategic Investment Bank, which would serve as an independent commercial operation with $2.6 billion in start-up funding from the National Pension Reserve Fund.

The Labour party also plans to introduce a “Graduate and Apprentice Work Placement Scheme”. Which would allow graduates to link up with potential employers and introduce them to the workplace.