Sinn Féin leadership met today in Dublin to discuss the party’s proposals and priorities ahead of next week’s emergency budget. Central to the discussion was the need for the government to make job retention and creation a priority in its economic recovery strategy.
Speaking to the media Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said:
“Irish citizens should be alert to the reality that there is little difference between the economic policies of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. Both govern in the interests of the elites.
“There was never a greater need for the left in Irish politics to unite in common purpose to challenge the conservative agenda and call to account those who created the current economic crisis.
“Such an alternative would combine economic success with social responsibility and foster prosperity and equality.
“The Labour Party should be part of such an alternative. It has a duty not to prop up the conservative parties. The Labour Party should join with potential allies to establish a strong united progressive movement for change that meets the needs of all citizens.
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald added:
“Next weeks budget cannot simply be about stabilising the economy, it must include measures to stimulate the economy as well. If the government continues to confuse economics with bookkeeping then Ireland is in serious trouble.
“Sinn Féin’s submission to the government contains not only progressive measures to tackle in the short term the growing budget deficit but most importantly we set out 80 costed proposals on how to stimulate the economy.
“Sinn Féin is the only political party on this island to publish a jobs retention and creation strategy. Our strategy also includes proposals on all-Ireland economic development, education and training and measures to stimulate consumer spending.
“The government has failed at every turn to outline a comprehensive growth strategy. Fine Gael has called for 100,000 additional jobs by 2013 but as yet has not outlined how such a target can be achieved. Ireland needs vision and leadership, but it also needs common sense and a grounded approach. Neither Fianna Fáil nor Fine Gael has proved themselves capable of delivering such a strategy.
“We in Sinn Féin accept that the budget deficit must be dealt with. However the fact remains that keeping jobs and getting the unemployed back to work is the essential first step to resolving the current crisis.” ENDS