Commenting on former SDLP Leader Margaret Ritchie’s appearance at the Oireachtas Committee considering the implications of the proposed Austerity Treaty today, Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Conor Murphy MP, MLA said:
“The former SDLP Leader Margaret Ritchie MP’s appearance at an Oireachtas Committee considering the implications of the proposed Austerity Treaty has clearly exposed the double standards and inconsistency of the SDLP economic policies.
“Under questioning by my Party colleague, Senator Kathryn Reilly, Ms Ritchie resolutely failed to explain why her party is supporting the Austerity Treaty in the South while claiming to be leading the charge in opposing the Tory cuts at Westminster.
“When asked to explain why her party is supporting the austerity treaty which will impose an extra €8billion in austerity on the people in the 26 counties, Ms Ritchie could not give an explanation and completely failed to answer. When asked why her party is taking a different line to the mainstream social democrat movement across Europe with whom the SDLP are aligned and who are opposing this Treaty she again had no answer.
“The SDLP’s claim that it is opposed to Tory cuts in the North because they are detrimental to the local economy and will impact worst on the most vulnerable in society, if correct, is in complete contrast to supporting a treaty that will enshrine austerity in law in the South with devastating results for the most vulnerable!
“Her party’s support for this treaty puts them firmly on the side of politicians like Phil Hogan and Enda Kenny and their right wing proponents of austerity and with the banks, developers and corrupt politicians who plunged the southern economy into bankruptcy."