Representatives of the SIPTU Cavan-Monaghan District Committee met with local Fine Gael TD, Joe O’Reilly, to discuss the union’s proposal for a progressive alternative to the Universal Social Charge (USC) and the ICTU Pre-Budget Submission at a meeting in Cavan Town on Friday, 25th September. SIPTU Organiser, Jim Finnegan, said: “We presented Deputy O’Reilly with the SIPTU proposal to replace the USC with a Social Solidarity Contribution (SSC). The yield from the SSC would not go into central exchequer funds. It would be dedicated exclusively to redressing the ongoing social damage caused by the economic crisis and to addressing the key social challenges now facing Irish society. “The SSC system would also remove the liability for payment completely from workers earning the living wage, of €11.50 per hour, or less.” The delegation, which also included SIPTU Cavan-Monaghan District Committee members Seamus Callif, Seamus Kelly and vice chairperson Catherine Smith, highlighted the main proposal in the Congress Pre-Budget Submission of a €2.15 billion increase in public spending aimed at supporting economic recovery. Smith said: “Congress rejects the 50:50 split between public spending increases and tax cuts outlined in the Government’s Spring Statement and proposes more money should be invested in health, housing and childcare. It also outlines how a minimum of €650 million can be raised from various taxation reforms.” She added: “While Deputy O’Reilly was sympathetic to many of the points raised by the delegation he stated that he believes the Government would implement a Budget largely in-line with its Spring Statement.”