Toibín responds to Rabbitte comments on opposition
Peadar Tóibín TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson on jobs, enterprise and innovation, responded to Labour minister, Pat Rabbitte’s comments on the opposition.
In a revealing interview in today’s Irish Times, Pat Rabbitte claimed that there was no policy differences between Labour and Fine Gael and no alternative to the programme that they are following
Peadar Toibín TD, in response said: “To claim that there is no alternative is the mark of political cowardice and an effort to close down debate.
“There are clear alternatives, alternatives that have been implemented successfully in other countries. The government needs to prioritise the functioning of the real economy over toxic debt. As long as bondholders are prioritised over productivity, competitiveness and jobs the economic slide will continue.
“The policies of Labour in government are failing; we have increased unemployment, increased long term unemployment, increased emigration, continuing high rates of business closures. Under Pat Rabitte’s watch this state has fallen behind with regards key technological infrastructure such as broadband speed and coverage.
“Labour has delivered excessive pay-outs for ministers, advisors, and senior civil servants.
“Labour has accused Sinn Féin of populism and claimed a dearth of Sinn Féin ideas. However in the last year Labour has opposed all of Sinn Féin’s proposals. The Labour Party has opposed Sinn Féin motions on support to the DEIS schools, motions to end the Anglo Promissory Note, safeguard the rights of low-paid workers, safeguard and develop state assets to develop Moore Street into a heritage and tourism quarter.
“Labour has opposed our motions to retain of services at Roscommon Hospital and has refused to repeal the household charge in favour of a progressive tax. The Labour Party, a party of the left, has opposed our motions to reverse the cuts to CE Schemes, opposed the retaining of the ESB in public ownership and despite their background they opposed a modest bill to curtail the excesses of moneylenders.
“Pat Rabitte clearly believes that Labour and Fine Gael policy fit snuggly together. Labour has sided with the commercial landlords to maintain upward only rents; the bankers on bail outs; the developers in NAMA; employers to reduce the rights of low-paid agency works and removed the Sunday premium.”
Peadar Toibín added: “Sinn Féin is providing a clear alternative throughout Ireland, an alternative that has been costed by the Department of Finance.
“We share the view of economic Nobel laureates that a significant counter cyclical economic stimulus is needed to jolt Ireland out of its downward spiral, we have identified where the funds can be sourced, we have detailed technological and cost competitive opportunities for the state and we have outlined how like many other European countries fairness and cohesion is rates of pay can be achieved.”