SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor has said that Budget 2018 is “a slick piece of political presentation but is morally indefensible.” He said: “In the midst of a housing and homeless crisis the government has chosen to deploy €335 million on token tax cuts, €461 million on continuing the VAT give away to bad employers in the hospitality sector and €1.5 billion on a totally unnecessary ‘pet project’ rainy day fund. “In total, this amounts to €2.29 billion which would otherwise build 12,000 local authority houses and which would actually make a difference. On top of that, developers are to be gifted €750 million or 60% of the cost of constructing 6000 houses. “It is the first time since the great collapse of 2008 that we had a chance to transform our grossly unequal society. Instead, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, backed by a coterie of right wing independents, have chosen to take us back to the old value system that precipitated the economic and financial crash in the first place.