Budget 2018 did not reflect understanding of reality – Kenny
Speaking in Leinster House after the Budget announcement today, Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny said that he was disappointed with a budget that did not reflect an understanding of the reality of Irish farmers and which put tax cuts before dealing with the crises in health and housing.
Deputy Kenny said:
“Sinn Féin, along with the farm organisations, called for extra funding for the Beef Data Genomics Programme and for the Sheep Welfare Scheme, but it is disappointing that neither came in the budget.
“The government reneged on its commitment in the programme for government to match self-employed tax credits with PAYE workers.
“In Sinn Féin’s alternative budget, we had allocated money to increase funding for farm safety promotion and prevention of accidents as farm deaths rise, but the government has not responded to appeals on this matter.
“We also sought to increase the Rural Social Scheme by 500, but the government chose to increase by only 250 places. They will justify this by saying the uptake is low, but that is only because it has been made more difficult to participate.
“Meanwhile, other areas such as health and housing have not been tackled in a way that signals that the government understands the urgency of the crises in both.
“In fact, this is a budget that makes it clear that the government no longer regards the housing and health crises as crises, but as the norm. It is not something that Sinn Féin can stand over. In fact, it is a disgrace and Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael should hang their heads in shame. There are people dying on the streets and there is no solution for them in this budget.”