SIPTU General President Jack O’Connor has attacked IBECs call that there should be no tax increases in the next budget as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing. “This is nothing more than a thinly camouflaged attempt to insulate the better off from tax commitments that are already scheduled, while inflicting more misery on the less well off. IBEC is right in one respect, it is time to ease off on austerity. However it is also time for the rich to contribute something. “The Government must not retreat from the commitments to abolish tax relief on pensions over €60,000 per annum. This would yield revenue of a quarter of a billion euro per year. Other measures to generate a further quarter of a billion from the better off are also necessary in Budget 2014. Together with deployment of the billion euro afforded by the promissory note deal, this would reduce the effect of the adjustment due in the next budget by 50%. “After that the key issue is to how quickly the €6 billion in the Strategic Investment Fund can be leveraged into the economy, thus generating thousands of jobs and further reducing the requirement for austerity. Jack O’Connor concluded by saying that, “We can actually get to the three per cent deficit target by the end of 2015 without inflicting more misery on the great majority of our citizens, although those at the top of the incomes spectrum will have to contribute a billion euro in extra taxes over two budgets to enable this to happen.”