Sinn Féin spokesperson on environment, community and local government, Brain Stanley TD, has today called for “new thinking, new policies and a new economic programme”.
Speaking during the Dáil’s economic debate, Deputy Stanley said: “There are many indicators of how life has deteriorated for ordinary people since this government came to power.
“Unemployment rose to a staggering 435,200 in September, not including the 200,000 who have emigrated since 2008 or those who are not entitled to sign on, yet have no income or work.
“The health system remains critical, limping from crisis to crisis. With the scandal of stroke politics raising its ugly head again, the primary health care centre scandal has all the hallmarks of Fianna Fáil gombeenism.
“Now 706,371 people, including a staggering 200,000 children, live in poverty. To say Labour is having no effect in government would be an understatement.
“Their presence in government with Fine Gael has been an abject failure. Labour proved once again they are either incapable or unwilling to stand up to the bully boys of Fine Gael.
“The myth that Fine Gael is good for business simply does not stand up. The facts are lending to SMEs amounted to €407million in the first quarter of 2012, down 29.6% from the fourth quarter of 2011.
“Sinn Féin would not reduce the capital budget any further, meaning that instead of capital investment of €13.1billion over the next four years, we would have a capital budget of €15.7 billion or €2.6 billion more than Fine Gael and Labour.
“Sinn Féin is proposing almost €13 billion additional investment in job creation and economic growth over four years.
“This would create an average of 156,000 jobs and retain up to 15,000 jobs. This would be funded from €5.8 billion in discretionary funding in the National Pension Reserve Fund, €1.534 billion from the European Investment Bank, €3billion incentivised investment from the private pension sector and we would not cut the €2.6 billion which the government will cut from its capital budget spend. ”