The SIPTU proposals for a progressive alternative to the Universal Social Charge (USC) were presented at a meeting in the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan, County Meath, on Wednesday (19th August) evening. The SIPTU Meath District Council hosted the meeting and a number of local politicians were in attendance.Presenting the union’s proposal to replace the USC with a Social Solidarity Contribution (SSC), SIPTU Researcher, Ger Gibbons, said: “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 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.”Among the politicians present at the well-attended meeting were Meath Fine Gael TDs Helen McEntee and Ray Butler, Fine Gael Councillor, Noel French, and Fianna Fáil Senator, Thomas Byrne.Butler expressed support for a €775 tax credit which is integral to the SSC concept. While both Byrne and McEntee expressed interest in the proposals and said they would be discussing them further with their respective parties.SIPTU Meath District Committee Coordinator, John Regan, said: “We are pleased at the positive reception that our SSC policy is getting. People realise we are putting forward a viable alternative to the USC which will help relieve the financial pain that most low pay and middle income people are suffering.”SIPTU Meath District Council Chairman, Anton McCabe, added: “It is clear from the comments of the members of the public at this meeting that the suffering is far from over and the that scars from the economic crisis will take a long time to heal. SIPTU are putting out a clear call to all elected representatives to put their constituents first and support our SSC policy as a better tax raising mechanism for the people.”