Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald said tonight that the party offers a viable alternative to austerity.
Speaking ahead of addressing a meeting at Westminster, the Dublin TD said;
“Sinn Féin has made clear that we are for progressive alternatives to the austerity policies of Fine Gael, Labour or Fianna Fáil in Dublin, or Tory imposed cuts in the north. What we need is a real discussion about having a different economic approach.
“During the period of the Celtic Tiger Sinn Féin pointed out the dangers of the developing property bubble and the potential for an economic crash. Sinn Féin argued that the wealth of the Celtic Tiger should be used to create sustainable jobs, build infrastructure, and invest in health and education.
“We were ridiculed by the same people whose flawed greedy self-serving policies collapsed the economy. They forced hundreds of thousands out of work and almost half a million of our young people overseas.
“In the north, we propose exactly the same approach. We are for investment to create growth and jobs, defending social and welfare provision. We are opposed to cuts and austerity, which is contracting the economy, penalising the most marginalised in our society and driving down living standards of ordinary people.
“Sinn Féin was right then and we are right now. The Property Tax, Water tax, removal of medical cards, welfare cuts, mortgage distress and lack of social housing have pushed working people to the limit.
“For our part Sinn Féin needs to be ready for government in this state on our terms, agree our policy priorities and political platform and our commitments need to be deliverable.
“We are ambitious for change and believe we can deliver on jobs, housing and health. But we will not enter government merely to give cover to the agenda of conservative parties.
“Sinn Féin seeks to offer a viable, political alternative. We need a realignment of politics.
“Let those on the Irish left who really believe that a government without Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil is possible begin working together towards that end.”