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Sinn Féin budget supports fair and sustainable recovery - Pearse Doherty

Sinn Fein’s Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said Sinn Fein’s alternative Budget would repair communities, rebuild the economy and renew society. The budget lays out how Sinn Fein would abolish the local property tax and water charges and our programme for investing in disability services, health and education.

Download Sinn Féin's Alternative Budget 2015 here



“The DUP are vocal about the consequences of not implementing these Tory cuts but remain silent on the impact of these cuts which would take hundreds of millions of pounds out of the pockets of the most vulnerable and least able to pay.  These cuts would plunge more children into poverty and take money from hard-pressed working families, people on benefits and from people with disabilities." - Daithí McKay



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay said tonight that a proposal by the Northern Trust to close beds at a North Antrim hospital would end generations of care at Dalriada.

The North Antrim MLA said:

“There has been a hospital on this site for generations and if the proposal to close beds is adopted it will be the end of the road for Dalriada.

“It has been proposed that staff be moved out of Dalriada in four weeks time. We need to challenge this.

“In my view there are only four weeks to save the hospital from closure. Local politicians and the local community must now put pressure on the DUP and its health minister to prevent what will be a devastating blow to Ballycastle.

“The DUP is targeting frontline services in the health service, and that is shameful.

“Rural services are often seen as a soft target in terms of departmental cuts and that has certainly influenced those who have drawn up this proposal.

“We need to oppose this agenda and do all we can over the next number of weeks to save Dalriada.” 

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Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD says the Northern Executive had shown political leadership by facing difficult decisions to agree a Budget. He called for similar leadership in all party talk to deal with outstanding issues in the political process.

Gerry Adams TD said:

Today, by agreeing a Budget against an extremely difficult backdrop caused by Vicious Tory cuts, the Executive has shown political leadership.

I hope the same level of leadership can now be shown by all parties in talks to resolve outstanding issues in the political process, including flags, parades and how to deal with the past."

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Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness said today the Executive had faced very difficult decisions because of ruthless Tory cuts year on year to the block grant.

Martin McGuinness was speaking after the Executive had agreed the 2015/’16 budget.

Martin McGuinness said:

"We reached agreement on the budget at today’s Executive meeting. 

"Clearly the Executive has faced very difficult decisions as a result of the ruthless year-on-rear reduction to the block grant. 

"The Tory cuts to public services are an ideologically driven assault on the welfare state and are at the heart of the current financial and are at the heart of the current financial crisis the Executive is facing. 

"Despite this reduced funding, Sinn Féin has worked to reach agreement on a budget for 2015/16 which defends core public services, particularly heath and education, and protects the most vulnerable in our society against savage Tory cuts. 

"We have also worked to lessen the impact of the cuts on departments which faced disproportionate reductions.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has announced plans to bring a major European anti-fracking conference to Fermanagh. 

Speaking after visiting Fermanagh alongside Michelle Gildernew MP, Ms Anderson said; 

"I visited Fermanagh today and met with representatives of anti-fracking groups from the county and from Leitrim alongside party colleagues Michelle Gildernew MP and Michael Colreavy TD. 

"We held a very useful and positive meeting on the concerns of the local community about plans for fracking in the area. 

"As part of Sinn Féin's commitment to oppose fracking, I announced that I will be bringing a major European conference on the issue to Fermanagh in the new year. 

"The conference will bring together a panel of experts and will consider the environmental, health and economic impact that fracking would have on Fermanagh. 

"This event is about Sinn Féin's commitment to ensure that fracking will not take place on the island of Ireland."

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Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has written to Taoiseach Enda Kenny to clarify that those Sinn Féin members who sought to help Mairia Cahill, Jennifer McCann MLA, Sue Ramsey and himself, are still seeking a meeting with him.

Deputy Adams said;

“As An Taoiseach knows well, my request for a meeting was not confined to the four individuals accused in connection with an alleged IRA investigation, but consisted of those Sinn Féin members, including myself, who spoke to and sought to help Mairia Cahill. It is reprehensible that he would spin this publicly in the way that he has done. This reinforces my view that he is playing politics with this issue.

“In relation to those accused of carrying out an IRA investigation into Mairia’s case, I understand that solicitor Peter Madden wrote to An Taoiseach on 24th October stating that he had ‘set aside the judicial process and ignored the findings of a Court of Law....’ , and that he had already passed judgement on the matter.  It also stated that Peter Madden advised his clients against any meeting given your highly prejudicial statement and ongoing legal processes. This correspondence was widely publicised.

“I further understand that Peter Madden has today confirmed that his clients see no point in meeting with An Taoiseach, at this stage.

“Although it is a matter for the individuals concerned if they want to meet with Mr Kenny, I am not surprised that these individuals do not wish to meet him given his public assertions and judgements about them.

However myself, Sue Ramsey and Jennifer McCann MLA have written to An Taoiseach seeking a meeting.  We have yet to receive any confirmation from Mr Kenny that he will meet with us, as he said he would in the Dáil. 

“I am urging An Taoiseach to respond positively to our request for a meeting and I look forward to hearing from him.”

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Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Mary Lou McDonald TD has called on Minister Howlin to outline how he proposes to bring relief to low paid public servants.

Speaking in response to the Minister’s plan to repeal section 2B of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (FEMPI) legislation, which gave him the power to unilaterally reduce public sector pay, Deputy McDonald said:

"This move is welcome.  However this coercive clause should never have been used in the first place.  It is particularly disgraceful that a Labour Minister saw fit to use this to strong-arm the public sector trade unions.

"The question now is what the Minister intends to do to restore the pay of low paid public sector workers.  The Minister must clarify what he intends to do to ensure that no public sector worker has to resort to Family Income Supplement payments in order to make ends meet."

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Sinn Féin Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile has said the PSNI needs to be proactive in stopping attacks in East Belfast.

Speaking after a number of homes were again attacked in the early hours of this morning Councillor Ó Donnghaile said;

"The PSNI is failing this community.

“Following a broad cross-party and cross-community meeting with the PSNI yesterday there was universal support for the PSNI to with the ongoing disorder in the East of the city. They've failed that test.

“At around 3:00am this morning homes in Bryson Street were again bombarded with brick, bottles, fireworks and paint bombs.

“The PSNI needs to be proactive in preventing attacks. They can no longer simply be reactive.

“We have a duty of care to ensure the safety of all residents living across the interface. We must also see continued political leadership to face down those determined to cause hurt and destruction."

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Martin McGuinness MLA has said the British government must face up to its responsibilities on dealing with the past. 

Speaking to relatives of victims of state violence at Stormont ahead of a human rights conference in Belfast next Thursday 6th November, which will be attended by the European Council's Nils Muiznieks, Mr McGuinness said; 

"This has been a particularly difficult year for many families from across this society seeking truth and justice about the death of their loved ones. 

"We have witnessed families being denied an inquiry into the Ballymurphy massacre, the inaction of the PSNI to investigate the actions Military Reaction Force, the call for a public inquiry into the deaths of 18 people at the hands of loyalists in Mid Ulster, the PSNI refusal to co-operate with the Gerard Lawlor inquest, the ongoing refusal to honour their commitment to hold an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and the destruction of documents relating to shoot-to-kill deaths just weeks before an inquest was due to begin. 

"All of this is rooted in the British government's failure to honour its Article 2 Right to Life obligations. It is clear that the British government fears the truth. 

"We in Sinn Féin will not tolerate the British government seeking to rewrite their role in the conflict. 

"There are many differing perspectives on the causes of the past conflict, what happened and who was responsible. We are up for a comprehensive discussion about the nature, causes and consequences of conflict. The question is, is the British government?

"In all of our deliberations we have sought to put the needs of victims first."

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The Irish peace process is a beacon of hope internationally but ongoing political effort is required if current negotiations are to succeed, Deputy Minister Martin McGuinness has told the Forum for Cities in Transition International conference in Belfast City Hall today.

"The Irish peace process is held up as a beacon of hope for other places around he world," he told delegates.

"Many other regions have looked to us for inspiration as they bid to resolve their own conflicts."

Speaking afterwards, Mr McGuinness called for a renewed focus on the current talks at Stormont. Martin McGuinness said:

"What I told the conference today is that any reconcilliation process requires the absolute will of all those involved to construct and sustain a peace building process. That is true wherever you go in the world and it is still true in the North of Ireland.

"We are presently engaged in very important talks aimed at overcoming issues such as flags, parades and dealing with the past. We will only find solutions to these crucial questions if all parties and the two governments bring to the table an absolute determination to secure a resolution.

"What is required now is the same kind of political and civic will – the demand for change – which we saw in the early days of the peace process and which ultimately led to the Good Friday Agreement.

"Sinn Féin will not be found wanting on those terms and I would urge all the other parties – and both governments to bring a similar determination to the process."

Videos

Frontline services protected in budget agreement – McGuinness


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