Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Arthur Morgan has described Fianna Fáil backbenchers as “a shower of hypocrites” over their so-called revolt on the proposed deal with public service unions.
“Where is the Fianna Fáil backbench revolt on the savage cuts in social welfare, including Child Benefit, that are about to be imposed in next week’s Budget?” asked Deputy Morgan.
“The so-called revolt by Fianna Fáil backbenchers on the proposed deal with public service unions is nothing more than a political ploy which the Government is using as a lever in its negotiations with the public service unions.
“The backbench TDs of Fianna Fáil are a shower of hypocrites. They are prepared to stand over savage cuts to social welfare, including Child Benefit, and the slashing of health and education services. Where is the backbench revolt over those cuts which will hit the most vulnerable of their constituents hardest and which they are prepared to force through in the Budget next week?
“It is ironic that the Fianna Fáil backbenchers – as well as Fine Gael and the Greens – are attacking the notion of an agreement involving unpaid leave because it might reduce services to the public. But they have already backed cuts to the delivery of public services in health and education and social welfare and they are prepared to back even worse next week.
“These backbenchers are kicking up about any prospect of a deal with public service unions based on the inclusion of a proposal for unpaid leave. No such agreement has been reached. It is for the union negotiators to act in the interests of their members and then, if a deal is done, it is for the members to decide if any such deal will be accepted or rejected. From Sinn Féin’s point of view any agreement must protect public service delivery as well as the pay of those on low and moderate incomes in the public service.
“The row which has been stirred up by all this is a massive distraction from the real issue. The main issue is the failure of the Fianna Fáil/Green Government to develop a strategy to grow the economy, instead of being fixated on reducing the deficit through cuts, even though all such measures to date have failed. What is completely lacking is any Government strategy to provide stimulus to the economy. There is no job retention and job creation plan. Instead we have social welfare cuts which will take money out of the economy, decrease Government revenue and worsen the deficit in the long term.” ENDS