Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams TD said the Government should resign and let the people have their say on the range of cuts to social protection which it is imposing.
The Sinn Fein Leader pointed out that Taoiseach Enda Kenny had condemned the Fianna Fail-led government for taking away the right of over-70-year-olds to have a medical card
Gerry Adams said:
“Not only have you taken away the medical cards from elderly people and others in dire need, but you have cut income supports for young unemployed people.
“You have cut the Bereavement Grant. You have cut the Telephone Allowance. You have cut Maternity Benefit. You have cut the Invalidity Pension.
“You have attacked citizens from the cradle to the grave as you demolish the most basic social protections.”
Mr Adams accused the Taoiseach of insulting the intelligence of citizens and disrespecting the Dáil by ramming through the legislation.
“Taoiseach, you have no mandate to do this. You sought and received a totally different mandate.
“I called on you yesterday to resign. You may have thought I was only joking. I wasn’t. If you believe in what you are doing, then allow the people to decide.”
“Breath-taking arrogance has been the main hallmark of the government since it came to office.
“You are indifferent to the devastation that a cocktail of cutbacks, unemployment and emigration is having on Irish society.
“You have a narrow, ideological view that is to the right of the Tea Party in America.
“You add insult to the injury contained in the Social Welfare Bill and demonstrate your contempt for citizens and the Dáil by ramming it through despite promises to the contrary.
“The axing of the Telephone Allowance will not even be put to a vote. The use of a Ministerial Order will save your backbenchers a lot of embarrassment.
Taoiseach, when in Opposition in 2009, you condemned what you described yourself as ‘the Social Welfare Bill being bulldozed through the Dáil in two days.'"
“But you are allowing a pathetic nine hours for discussion of the devastating measures contained in this Bill.
Taoiseach, do you not believe that our most vulnerable of citizens deserve more time and more respect than that?”