Sinn Féin has announced details of the party's annual think-in, before the resumption of the Dáil on 18 September. It will take place next Friday, 6 September 2013 in Carlingford, Co Louth.
Announcing details of the event, Sinn Féin finance spokesperson and TD for Donegal South West, Pearse Doherty said:
"Between now and Budget Day, Sinn Fein will focus on increasing pressure on the government to ensure that fairness is at the core of Budget 2014.
"Sinn Féin will use its position in the Dáil to defend struggling families. By providing alternatives Sinn Féin has shown we are a constructive opposition.
"We will not oppose merely for the sake of opposition. We will judge issues on their merits – as we did on the Children’s Referendum and now in the referendum on the Seanad
"Last year’s budget failed the fairness test. Households are struggling under the burden of the property tax, rising household bills and in many cases a fall in income due to the loss of employment or reduced hours or wages.
"The Fine Gael-Labour government is killing the economy by continuing to take money off families which they would otherwise spend in the local economy.
"For others the withdrawal of services such as respite care is causing huge hardship. Sinn Féin will provide real political leadership in the new Dáil term.
“We will not allow this government to get away with targeting ordinary people while doing nothing to tackle issues such as the relentless tide of emigration from Ireland and the plight of those families in mortgage distress.
"Key issues to be discussed at next Friday's think-in include discussion around finalising Sinn Féin's alternative budget, particularly looking at how the burden on struggling families can be reduced.
"We will show how the property tax can be abolished, how we can deal with the costs of education and the position of carers and those with disabilities who are having services withdrawn.
"The think-in will also discuss Irish unity, national reconciliation and dealing with the legacy of conflict.
"Invited guests include Basil McCrea and John McCallister of new unionist party, NI21 who will speak about their own perspectives on these issues.
"An update on Sinn Féin's campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum on the Seanad will be given and we will discuss Sinn Féin's preparations for local and EU elections next year. Ends