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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




Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin Councillor Jim McVeigh has stated that there is no space for armed actions in our society today and that those who represent groups who follow that path must come forward and explain to the public their flawed rationale.

Speaking today Cllr McVeigh said:

“The discovery of weapons in a car last night on the Grosvenor Road ensures that these weapons are taken off the street.

“Those behind such attacks have no support at a community level. They need to stop. 

“Armed actions will not in any way bring a united Ireland any closer. These are yesterdays people who need to realise that there is a democratic way to achieve these goals.

“The political representatives of these groups need to come forward and explain their flawed rationale for the continuation of these acts and what they hope to achieve.

“They stand for elections in which they are rejected by the electorate, they appear on TV to speak about threats on the upgrades in water service in West Belfast, they utilise some offices in west Belfast but when it comes to attacks such as that in Ardoyne during the week, last nights arms find or the countless punishment shootings and intimidation including last night in Derry they are invisible.

“If they are so confident that their actions are justified, which they are clearly not, they need to come forward and put themselves up for scrutiny in the media and to the public.”

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Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on the Diaspora has given a cautious welcome to President Obama’s announcement regarding undocumented immigrants in the US.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

“Taking undocumented immigrants out of the shadows is a step in the right direction.

“However it is unclear how many Irish people will actually benefit from the new measures.

“Like all immigrants the undocumented Irish in America are not a homogenous group.

“Some people have been in the US for over twenty years and are settled with families and American born children.

“On the other hand, there are people who left Ireland as a result of the recent crash and it remains to be seen how and if they will benefit from the new measures.   

“Nonetheless Sinn Féin will continue to work on this issue with members of Congress in an effort to secure full recognition for all undocumented Irish people in the US.”

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Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has called on the Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan to use her position and intervene directly with SUSI to fast track payments due to thousands of students waiting for their grants.

Crowe said that the Government's Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI ) are again this year trapping students on their grants roll out 'merry-go-round.'

Deputy Seán Crowe said;

"Every year since SUSI was established, thousands of students have been left in limbo for months while awaiting the system to process claims. Every year we are told the problem is resolved and every year students and their families are left waiting for their education grants.

"Out of a total of 103,125 applications received this year, 15,500 are still awaiting processing. Thousands of students, just a handful of weeks away from Christmas, have no real idea if they’ll be receiving any grant assistance this year. Delays mean difficulties and hard pressed students and their families will go without or try and make up the financial shortfall.

"57,451 applicants have now been processed, that is to be welcomed but 7,049 unfortunates still haven’t received any payments from SUSI. While it’s inevitable that there may be a handful who haven’t supplied correct details, it is a bit hard to believe that the majority of this pool of 7,049 students have somehow failed to pass SUSI on their bank details.

"This is a regular problem each year. The days of students waiting months on end for grant payments are supposed to be gone, but thousands of students  are trapped on a grants merry-go-round, going round in circles but going nowhere. 

"It is simply unacceptable to leave students in a position where they have to go and ask for help from charities to pay an ESB bill, put food on the table, pay for accommodation, or simply keep the lights on over Christmas.

"I support the St. Vincent de Paul proposal that would see the current SUSI system reconfigured so it operates on the same timeline as the CAO system. This would help eliminate the current backward system and give greater financial stability to students going on to Third Level Education.

"These students need to be paid immediately. I am calling on the Minister Jan O'Sullivan to take cognisance of the genuine St Vincent De Paul proposal and immediately intervene directly with SUSI to fast track payments to the thousands of students still waiting for their grants."

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Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has said that victims of domestic violence who are fleeing a home they have shared with an abusive partner should not be discriminated against when seeking housing. He made his comments as he launched his party's Domestic Violence Amendment Bill in the Dáil.

Deputy Ellis said

"This Bill won’t solve domestic violence, it won’t stop it or fix the big problems we have in dealing with it but it does fix something which needs to be fixed.

“The Bill deals with an anomaly in the current law.

“At present victims of domestic violence who are co-owners of a home in which their abuser resides are barred from seeking social housing as they are deemed to be appropriately housed. This Bill recognises the specific circumstances of  victims of domestic violence and the difficulties they can face when seeking to leave the abusive home they are in.

“Considering a person who co-owns a property in which their abuser resides to have their housing needs met by that property, turns housing need on its head. A home is not a roof or four walls it is a place where you can be safe. 

“This Bill seeks to change this so that a victim, who applies for an order, shall not, by virtue of the victim’s part-ownership in the residence in which the applicant resides or previously resided with the respondent, be prohibited from consideration for social housing by a local authority.

“The Bill does not dictate that a victim must automatically get a social house, but rather states that a victim shall not be discriminated against based on their part-ownership of the property where the domestic violence occurred.  

“This Bill acts as a waiver of sorts, whereby local authorities in assessing a persons need to be considered for social housing, cannot take the part-ownership in another property into account, where the person is a victim of domestic violence and has applied for an court order."

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Dublin Sinn Féin Councillor Louise Dunne, along with MEP Lynn Boylan will lead the women of Tallaght in a peaceful candle light vigil to protest against the man handling of women and children during recent anti- water charges demonstrations.

 Speaking today about the vigil Councillor Dunne said:

“We organised this vigil to bring some positivity back into Tallaght after recent events. Jobstown and other areas of Tallaght are continuously misrepresented and there has been over five days of a sustained onslaught by media and politicians even though 99% of the protesters were peaceful.

We have an excellent working relationship with the Gardai here and we will continue to do so. This vigil is about a community affirming their constitutional right to protest in a peaceful manner.

The water charges campaign has agitated a movement of people, young, old, male and female, who have never been activists before. The young people here are empowering themselves through peaceful protest, and this will continue.”

 Lynn Boylan added to this stating that:

“The brave women of Coolock created this grassroots event earlier this week, mainly via word of mouth and social media, in an attempt to draw attention to what happened Fiona Healy outside the Mansion House at the weekend.

Tonight the local women will engage in a similar event, beginning at 6:30pm outside Tallaght Garda Station. I will be standing beside them and I urge all the local women in the area similarly appalled by the man-handling of women and children by some of those policing the water protests to attend.”

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Speaking today following last night's announcement by President Obama of changes in how the US Government deals with undocumented immigrants, Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD said:

“Over the past number of years Sinn Féin has raised the issue of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the United States. Their absence is felt in communities and families across Ireland.

"I welcome the announcement by President Obama as it will bring relief to some,

"However I am concerned that the majority of undocumented Irish will not benefit from these limited changes.

"Many of these people have been forced into economic emigration since 2007, due to the economic mismanagement of successive Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour governments

"Undocumented Irish workers contribute to the US economy and community. This should be recognised and their futures secured. Today is another step in the right direction but there is further to travel.

"We will continue to work with the parties in the US Congress, and the recently appointed US ambassador, to ensure full recognition is given to those Irish living and working in the US."

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Dublin Sinn Féin Councillor Louise Dunne, along with MEP Lynn Boylan will lead the women of Tallaght in a peaceful candle light vigil to protest against the man handling of women and children during recent anti- water charges demonstrations.

 Speaking today about the vigil Councillor Dunne said:

“We organised this vigil to bring some positivity back into Tallaght after recent events. Jobstown and other areas of Tallaght are continuously misrepresented and there has been over five days of a sustained onslaught by media and politicians even though 99% of the protesters were peaceful.

We have an excellent working relationship with the Gardai here and we will continue to do so. This vigil is about a community affirming their constitutional right to protest in a peaceful manner.

The water charges campaign has agitated a movement of people, young, old, male and female, who have never been activists before. The young people here are empowering themselves through peaceful protest, and this will continue.”

 Lynn Boylan added to this stating that:

“The brave women of Coolock created this grassroots event earlier this week, mainly via word of mouth and social media, in an attempt to draw attention to what happened Fiona Healy outside the Mansion House at the weekend.

Tonight the local women will engage in a similar event, beginning at 6:30pm outside Tallaght Garda Station. I will be standing beside them and I urge all the local women in the area similarly appalled by the man-handling of women and children by some of those policing the water protests to attend.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on Commissioner Phil Hogan to apologise to the Irish people for his role in creating the monstrosity that is Irish Water.

Speaking today Lynn Boylan said:

 “Environment Minister Alan Kelly’s comments regarding his predecessor and “how he could have done better”,  were quite telling and demonstrate that even Fine Gael’s partners in government believe that Phil Hogan left a huge mess in his wake.

 The paltry measures introduced by the government yesterday are clearly a desperate attempt to cling to power for the next year and Irish citizens will not be fooled by this. This government is still forging ahead with water charging, the water metering programme will continue, metered charges are coming in and they are still unwilling to hold a referendum to ensure that water is not privatised.

 It is not so much that the then Minister Hogan, “could have done better,” as an elected public servant he should have done better and while the government scramble to prop up its flailing quango, Sinn Féin is encouraging everyone opposed to the charges to come out on December the 10th  and support the Right2Water protest.”

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Speaking after the Dáil passed the government's motion on water charges this evening Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams the government is still not listening to the people.

Teachta Adams said;

"Throughout the debate on this motion over the course of yesterday and today government deputies were at pains to tell is how they have listened to the people on this issue. This is clearly not true.

"If they were listening they would know that the people are demanding that this tax is scrapped rather than capped.

"The government had built up this week’s announcement for the last number of weeks. They have engaged in a PR offensive in a desperate attempt to cling to power for the next year.

"Yet, after all the hype, here’s what we now know after this week's debate; Water charges have not been scrapped, the water metering programme will continue, metered charges are coming in, they will only go up, and there is still no constitutional right to water.

"I don't think the people will be fooled by this PR offensive and I am calling for the maximum possible turnout for the people's assembly on December 10 to send the message once again that water charges must be scrapped."

ENDS

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