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Sinn Féin Westminster 2015 Election Broadcast

Sinn Féin stands for equality and protecting the most vulnerable. Our progressive politics and commitment to the rights of citizens is the only alternative to the extreme austerity agenda of the British government. A vote for Sinn Féin is a vote for real and lasting positive change.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said Sinn Féin's progressive politics is the only alternative to austerity.


Some of the sights and sounds of today's massive Right2Water rally on Dublin's O'Connell Street this afternoon (March 21).  Reports that up to...



Nuacht

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Sinn Féin’s foreign affairs spokesperson, Sean Crowe TD, today welcomed the conclusion of a peace agreement between the Phillipine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
“I warmly welcome the news today of agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“I commend both for reaching an agreement aimed at ending decades of fighting in Mindanao, south of the Philippines, which is estimated to have cost the lives of at least 120,000 since the 1970s and displaced two million people.”
“I congratulate my Sinn Féin colleague, Gerry Kelly MLA, who has been involved in the painstaking peace process which has brought both sides to this point.
Gerry Kelly was part of the International Contact Group assisting negotiations, which also had members from Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey

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Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said that the introduction of a property tax in 2013 will “depress consumer demand and cost jobs.”
The Donegal South West TD was responding to a Retail Excellence Ireland survey which found that 95% of retailers believed that the introduction of a property tax would have a negative impact on their business.

Deputy Doherty said:
“Sinn Féin has long argued against the introduction of a property tax for all home owners. While we do not yet know what the average cost of the tax will be we know it will hit the disposable income of hundreds of thousands of home owners. This will further depress consumer demand and cost jobs. A property tax is bad for low and middle income households, bad for retailers and bad for the domestic economy.

“The Government would be better introducing a wealth tax on net assets in excess of €1million. This would raise up to €800,000 annually without the negative impact on families, businesses or the domestic economy. Sinn Féin will be publishing a Wealth Tax Bill later this month in an attempt to convince the Government of the merits of our proposal.” ENDS

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Sinn Fein spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has today expressed deep concerned at reports that the taxpayer will carry the €40m cost for Greenstar's four landfills.

Deputy Stanley said: “Greenstar went into receivership in August. It now appears that the taxpayer will have to cover the cost of maintaining four landfills in Meath, Galway and Wicklow.

“It is totally unacceptable that private waste companies can maximise profits when all is well but when things go wrong the public has to foot the bill. I will be raising the issue in the Dáil on Tuesday.”

“Again we see the public being forced to foot the bill for the private sector. Sinn Féin continues to call for regulation of the domestic waste industry. The government have failed to produce the required legislation. Unfortunately for the public Minister Hogan hides behind reports and reviews.

“The minister must regulate this sector. Sinn Féin proposes that the local authorities become regulators in their respective areas. This will ensure transparency and accountability, both are sadly lacking in the industry.”

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North Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Conor Maskey has condemned the misuse and distribution of illegal fireworks following an incident in which the son of a well-respected local housing worker was left with a serious eye injury when struck by a firework.

Conor Maskey said:

“A lot of positive work has been done over the last number of years to deal with the issue of selling illegal fireworks. Through the New Lodge Safer Streets initiative, working in partnership with statutory agencies including the PSNI, the availability of these dangerous items has been reduced.

“This incident and the injury to the young person shows why illegal fireworks need to be taken off the streets. Those making a profit from selling these items, with clearly total disregard for the community, should cease immediately.

“Parents need to be extremely vigilant that their children are not handling these fireworks, both for their own safety and the safety of others.

“The community should send a clear signal to those that sell illegal fireworks that it is not acceptable and information on people selling them should be brought to the PSNI. My thoughts are with the family of the young man injured and hopefully he will make a full recovery.”

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In response to reports that the International M onetary Fund is putting pressure on the government to cut benefits for older people, Sinn Féin social protection spokesperson, Aengus Ó SnodaighTD said:

“Since taking office, this government has relentlessly targeted older people. It has already cut the Household Benefits Package, raised the pension age by three years, doubled the number of contributions necessary for certain state pensions and now, it is back again threatening cuts.”

“Less than a week after the handover of €1billion to unsecured bondholders, it beggars belief that this programme of austerity is to target our older citizens again.

“I am calling on Minister Joan Burton to resist these calls from the IMF. When I met the Troika earlier this year, its representatives confirmed to me that the government has the power to decide where to make necessary cuts. We have to stand up and say that the old, the sick, children and those on social welfare must be protected.”

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Tá an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Sinn Féin, tar éis an tAire Caiteachas Poiblí agus Athchóirithe a cháineadh, maidir le leasaithe ar an Bhille Ombudsman (Leasú) 2008, a mhéadódh cumhachtaí an tOmbudsman ó thaobh gnóthaí inimirce agus príosúin.

Bhí an t-urlabhraí sóisireach Shinn Féin ar chúrsaí Dlí, Cothromas & Cosanta ag labhairt le linn céim an choiste den diospóireacht sa tSeanad an tseachtain seo.

“Aithnítear é go hidirnáisiúnta gurb é an cleachtadh is fearr ná go mbeadh gnóthaí ar nós na príosúin, teifigh, iarrthóirí tearmann agus eisimirce áirithe faoi chúram Oifig an Ombudsman.”

“Ar ndóigh d’iarr sí féin an méid céanna agus í ag déanamh tagairt don bhille seo ina tuairisc bhliantiúil do 2011, a foilsíodh i Mí an Mheitheamh. Bhí sé soiléir gur mheas sí go mbeadh sé oiriúnach go mbeadh na gnéithe seo faoina cúram aici agus go raibh “gá práinneach cúraimí na hOifige a mhéadú, go mbeadh rochtain ag gach duine a bhaineann úsáid as eagraíochtaí poiblí chuig modh iniúchadh agus sásaimh neamhspleách.


“Cé go ndeir an tAire go bhfuil sé tar éis a bheith i dteagmháil leis an Ombudsman faoin bhille, sílim gur beag seans go bhfuil sí tar éis a tuairim a athrú ar ábhar chomh bunúsach seo ó shoin."

“Mar sin, is deacair míniú cén fáth a bhfuil an tAIre Howlin ag diúltú eagraíochtaí ar nós an RIA agus INIS a chuir faoi chúram an tOmbudsman, ach go háirithe nuair atá muidne bhfreasúra ag cur leasaithe don tsórt sin chun cinn."

“Deir an tAire go bhfuil an tAire Dlí, Cothromas & Cosanta, Alan Shatter, tar éis a ghealladh go ndéanfar na hábhair seo a shocrú tríd reachtaíochta óna Roinn féin sar i bhfad, ach is deacair glacadh le sin. Is léir go bhfuil an tAire Howlin ag géilleadh don Aire Shatter agus státseirbhísigh sinsireacha, in ionad a bheith ag éisteacht le comhairle an Ombudsman í féin.”

Howlin ignoring best practice on Ombudsman Bill

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has criticised the Minister for Public Expenditure for failing to amend the Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill 2008 to enhance the scope of the ombudsman in issues relating to immigration and prisons.


The Sinn Féin junior spokesperson on Justice and Equality, was speaking following a committee stage debate at in the Seanad this week.


“It is internationally recognised best practice, that an office such as that of the Ombudsman should have jurisdiction over prisons, refugees, asylum seekers, and immigration. “


“Indeed in the Ombudsman’s 2011 report, published in June, she specifically sought as much in commenting on the present bill. She made clear that it was her view that it was necessary and appropriate that she should have jurisdiction in these areas, and that there was an ‘urgent need to expand the remit of the Office so that every user of every public body can have access to an independent means of examination and redress.’ ”

“While the Minister claims to have engaged with the Ombudsman, it seems to me to be unlikely that the Ombudsman would have changed her view on such a fundamental issue in such a short period of time.”

“Therefore it is difficult to explain the rationale for the Minister’s refusal, in spite of amendments from the opposition to that effect, to include bodies such as RIA, and INIS under the remit of the Ombudsman.”

“The Minister’s claim, that the Justice Minister has assured him that some of these issues will potentially be dealt with in forth coming justice legislation, holds little water. It is clear that the Minister is deferring to the Justice Minister and to Senior Civil Service, in excluding these bodies, rather than listening to the Ombudsman herself.”

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Sinn Féin MLA Francie Molloy has welcomed the announcement by the Earl of Shaftesbury that he is willing to discuss the future of Lough Neagh with the Assembly.

 Mr. Molloy said,

 “The Lough is a huge eco system on which many people depend upon for their livelihood and indeed their life through the supply of drinking water so it important that it is managed properly.

 “I welcome the Earl of Shaftesbury’s willingness to discuss the future of the Lough and his emphasis on the needs of the people who live along side and those who work the Lough to be put at the forefront of any decisions to be made.

 “In my meeting with the Earl today he confirmed that land owners whose land abuts the shoreline will be able to have this land transferred to them for minimum sum, this is big step forward and I welcome this gesture from the Earl.

 “I believe it is in the best interests of everyone that the Lough comes under public ownership so that it can managed to the benefit of all the users and those living along side it.

 “The working group in the Assembly should immediately set up the meeting requested by the Earl and move the acquisition of the Lough to the next stage. 

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Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan has called on the Health Minister Edwin Poots to carry out an immediate and thorough investigation into the recent disclosures by the BBC into the management and running of the NI Fire and Rescue Service

 Mr. McMullan said,

 “It is becoming abundantly clear that the senior management of the Fire and Rescue Service are lurching from crisis to crisis as the latest revelations of grievances against the Fire and Rescue Service shows.

 “Before this there was the issue of returning monies to the Assembly while fire stations and the Red fleet needed upgrading and senior personnel moonlighting in businesses similar to their duties.

 “The Minister needs to immediately implement an independent review and report of the ability of the senior management to maintain and provide a vital service to the public.

 “This investigation must be carried out by an outside agency such as the audit office and get to the core of what is a major management problem, and have the ability to restore confidence back into the Fire Service.

 “I also hope the unions will now back a call for an investigation as the service has over the years been blighted with public stories but this recent disclosure has clearly shown enough is enough.”

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Speaking in response to today’s Central Bank quarterly bulletin, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty TD, said that calls for wage cuts are “misguided” and will “further depress consumer demand, economic growth and job creation”.

Deputy Doherty said:
“The Central Bank is wrong to suggest that further cuts to wages in the public and private sector will assist economic recovery. Their claim that wage cuts will boost competitiveness and in turn assist recovery is misguided. Any such move would further depress consumer demand, economic growth and job creation.

“The domestic economy is still in recession. Consumer spending continues to fall. The only thing that further wage cuts will achieve is to further damage the domestic economy. Such a move would lead to more unemployment and act as yet another obstacle to social and economic recovery.

“It is ironic that the Central Bank made this recommendation on the same day as they revised downwards their growth projections for 2012 from 0.7% to 0.5%. The primary reason for this decline is the policies of austerity being imposed by the Government.

“While clearly there is an argument for reductions for highly paid public sector workers and extra taxes for very high earners, there is simply no justification for across the board wage cuts. This would push more families into financial hardship and poverty and damage the economy.”
ENDS

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