Hole in Sinn Féin budget figures revealed by finance officials

New documents show that the party’s costing of its alternative budget were tens of millions wide of the mark, according to a report in the Sunday Business Post.

Unveiling Sinn Féin’s alternative budget last October, Pearse Doherty, the party’s finance spokesperson, said he was “putting fairness at the heart of taxation policy,” the report noted.

Across more than 50 pages the party outlined what it said was “a credible fiscal plan”, including a €6.8 billion package of measures aimed at investment in housing, healthcare, and easing the burden during the cost-of-living crisis.

It promised mortgage interest relief and tax cuts in what was widely seen as a move to court the middle ground with Doherty at the time saying Sinn Féin’s alternative budget was an appropriate response to the challenges at hand.

But a closer look at two documents compiled by the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) published this week show a marked divergence between what Sinn Féin said on October 4th and what public officials estimated that their measures would actually cost the exchequer.

The documents also provide an insight into the measures that Mary Lou McDonald’s party was considering but either dropped or could not get the cost of to put a price tag on.

The alternative budget said that the first year cost to the exchequer of not proceeding with a carbon tax increase in 2024 would be €141 million, however DPER said the cost of not proceeding with two increases in May and October this year would be €47 million.

Living near a proposed MetroLink station? Your house price is set to soar

Houses near proposed MetroLink ­stations will record a growth in value of at least 10 per cent if the project is granted planning approval, economists and financial experts have predicted, a report in the Sunday Times says.

An Bord Pleanala’s oral hearings on MetroLink — the long-delayed centrepiece of the government’s transport strategy, which has an estimated cost of €9.5 billion — continued last week with a number of community groups and stakeholders making presentations in support of, or objecting to, the plans.

Some businesses, residents’ groups and heritage bodies have outlined ­worries about potential disruptions, business closures, adverse health impacts and pollution. Others including Wynn’s hotel have claimed that the construction period would pose an existential threat to their operations. However, it is expected that prices of homes in close proximity will be boosted.

Long overdue accounts at CleverCards’ digital payments ‘not a cause for concern’, says chief executive

Rapidly growing Irish digital payments firm CleverCards has not filed accounts or annual returns for any period since 2020, despite a requirement to do so, a report in the Sunday Independent reveals.

But the company has insisted that although its accounts have been delayed, it is not one of the firms referred to in a Central Bank report last week that raised concerns about governance deficiencies in the payments and e-money sector.