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A Fair Recovery Is Possible

Sinn Féin has launched a state wide campaign for a Fair Recovery. The campaign will involve a series of public meetings and the distribution of close to one million leaflets door to door.

This campaign is about setting out some of Sinn Féin’s priorities and to start a debate about the future, about what type of country and society we want to live in, about equality, and the type of recovery we want.

Visit our special web section A Fair Recovery Is Possible here

A Fair Recovery is Possible logo

Some sights and sounds from the Annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration in Bodenstown, Co. Kildare on June 21, 2015. Main speaker Sinn Féin deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD. During the course of her speech she talked about the need for a fair economic recovery north and south; demanded the British to come clean about collusion; and expressed solidarity with the people of Greece.


Martin McGuinness speaking at Stormont said that Sinn Féin's conditional support for the budget bill will create the space to resolve outstanding issues and ensure the executive has workable and sustainable finances and see the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement.



Latest Statements

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Sinn Féin MP for Mid Ulster, Martin McGuinness has expressed his sympathy to the Doherty family who at the loss of two family members who were killed tragically in a car accident last night close to Magherafelt.

Speaking today Mr McGuinesss said:

"I wish to express my deepest sympathy to the Doherty family following the loss of two family members who were tragically killed in a road traffic accident late last night.

"I'm sure they will be  in the thoughts of many people. To lose two members of a family through a road traffic accident is always a tragic, sad occasion, it is especially more acutely felt at this time of year in the weeks before Christmas.

"This now brings the number of people killed in the area to four over the past number of weeks. We need to examine why this is the case and ensure that care is taken to ensure that we see no more dreadful occasions such as this."

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Sinn Féin MLA for South Antrim, Mitchel McLaughlin said those who painted sectarian graffiti on the Church of Ireland in Glenavy are sectarian bigots and will not succeed in driving a wedge between the good community relations that exist in the town. 

Speaking today Mr McLaughlin said:

“There have been a series of sectarian attacks in Glenavy. In this latest one graffiti has been painted on the Church of Ireland and its church hall. 

“No place of worship should ever be targeted in this way. “This is completely wrong and those behind it are sectarian bigots.

“It should never have happened and whoever is responsible will not succeed in driving a wedge between the good community relations that exist in the town.”

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Sinn Féin Belfast City Councillor Jim McVeigh said the death threat issued against him will not deter or intimidate Sinn Féin from the work of making the City Hall a more inclusive place.

Speaking today the Sinn Féin group leader on the council said:

“Those behind the issuing of a death threat against me will not not deter or intimidate Sinn Féin from the work of making the City Hall a more inclusive place.

“The threat was phoned to our Falls Road office indicating that I would be shot, or if I was seen in the street I would be stabbed.

“Those behind it cannot accept democracy or the fact that I have been democratically elected to represent the people of this city. They will not stop me in this work.”

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Speaking from Leinster House Deputy McLellan accused the government parties of being indifferent to the plight of ordinary Irish people.
Deputy McLellan said: “It’s not as if the Government didn’t have choices. It could have decided to introduce measures that would kick start the economy: given hope to the quarter of a million people who are out of work, stimulated employment growth and moved the country away from the abyss of economic ruin.
“Instead the Fine Gael/Labour coalition chose to continue with their failed policies of austerity by introducing even more regressive cuts, particularly in relation to women and children. In offering up the most vulnerable in society in the interest of maintaining the status quo the government demonstrated yet again its commitment to protecting the well off at the expense of the rest of the population.
Labour’s inability or unwillingness to protect workers from the worst excesses of Fine Gael’s neo liberal economic policies speaks volumes about how comfortable and seduced it has become with being in power.
How can it stand over the decision to tax maternity benefit and to reduce jobseekers benefit by three months, stand over a decision to cut child benefit and to reduce the back to school clothing and footwear allowance for young children?
Sinn Fein’s alternative budget document Making the Right Choices shows that it is possible to produce a budget that will makes a difference to the state’s finances and to people’s lives.
Sinn Fein would have protected Child Benefit. We would end waste in public spending. We would protect health, education, vital frontline services and welfare payments.
We would halt the flow of taxpayer’s money into banks and work for an all-island solution to the economic crisis.
Sinn Fein’s alternative budget shows clearly that the exchequer deficit can be tackled without targeting families and public services or preventing the creation of jobs.

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Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community & Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, has today claimed: “the budget is another attempt to shut down local government and emergency services in this state”.
Speaking from Leinster House, Deputy Stanley said: “The government’s budget has taken a slash and burn approach to local democracy and emergency services.
“The Department of Environment has cut funding to local government by 25%, €8.053m. This is on top of the 85% cut imposed for this year. This will further strangle the provision of local services. The local authority housing budget is cut by a massive €46.764m. This comes at a time of an unprecedented housing crisis. There are now 100,000 people waiting to be housed in this state and the government’s response is to cut local authorities housing budget. The social inclusion capital budget is cut by €2m to €4m, down from €9.3m in 2011.
“In a further attack on the elderly and people with disabilities this government has callously cut private housing grants by €20m. This will directly affect those with disabilities seeking grants to adapt their homes. These adaptions ensured people could continue living independently in their own homes. As a consequence more elderly people will be presenting themselves for nursing home care.
“While most worrying is the blatant disregard for health and safety is the further cut to the fire and emergency services capital budget. This budget now stands at €5m down from €12.25m in 2011.
“All these cuts paint a picture of a government who disregard those on housing lists, those with disabilities and those providing emergency services to public.
“I have written to the Minster’s Hogan’s office seeking a meeting as a matter to discuss the implications of these cuts. I would appeal to Minster Hogan that on his return from Doha he reverses theses cuts as a matter of urgency.”
ends

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Sinn Féin finance spokesperson and TD, Pearse Doherty has slammed Fine Gael and Labour’s claims that it had no alternative to the “appalling” budget introduced on Wednesday. Deputy Doherty said Sinn Féin provided the government with a detailed alternative, the costings of which were provided by government departments themselves.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Fine Gael and Labour, backed into a corner, are doing their best to spin a line that they had no choices on Wednesday, that no one had provided them with an alternative and that the Sinn Féin alternative was not costed.
“People can see through this utterly desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the appalling budget these two parties introduced on Wednesday, but to prove that they did have choices, I am publishing a list of the parliamentary questions (PQs) that costed the tax measures in our alternative budget and were provided to us from the government’s own Department of Finance.
“In our budget, we outlined 12 new tax measures to raise over €2.7 billion in additional taxation, one carry-over measure and three figures that had a net tax deduction effect. One of the net tax figures is a simple arithmetic exercise based on government and ESRI assumptions, to allow for the tax that would be lost by capping public sector salaries at €100,000 and consultant salaries at €150,000 per annum.
“Our wealth tax figure, as we have explained, they refused to cost and we set out in our Budget document how we costed that using other sources. That leaves 14 measures and I am publishing with this statement the 17 PQ references (3 PQs relate to the one betting tax proposal) including the PQ which refuses to cost the wealth tax, provided to us from the Department of Finance, which contain the figures used.
“Other measures in our document relating to health, public expenditure, TDs salaries and such also come from their relevant departments, for example, the measure to reduce A&E charges is PQ reference 991, from the 6 November, the Department of Health.
“All of these PQs are published on the Oireachtas website and are publicly available and I call on Fine Gael and Labour to now admit that they are not telling the truth when they say our budget document is not costed and accept that they were given an alternative that they chose not to take.” ENDS


The following are the parliamentary questions, by number, date and subject matter:
264 18 September Betting shop tax
263 18 September Online betting tax
255 18 September 48% third tax rate
256 18 September CGT increase
257 18 September CAT increase and lower thresholds
261 18 September Standardising tax reliefs
265 18 September Refusal to cost wealth tax
47 3 October On-course betting tax
60 3 October Reduced mortgage interest for landlords
108 3 October PRSI applied to rental income
125 3 October Social Protection response PRSI increase for employers
50 4 October Tax evasion, increased auditing
89 17 October Excise duty reduction
203 6 November ARFs & PRSAs imputed distribution percentage
248 6 November €220 million carry-over
214 6 November Pensions related earnings cap deduction
251 6 November USC, removing minimum wage earners

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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA has condemned the death threat against the Alliance Party’s East Belfast MP Naomi Long and has called for it to be withdrawn immediately.

Speaking today Mr McGuinness said:

“The death threat against the East Belfast MP Naomi Long is to be condemned in the strongest possible terms and needs to be withdrawn immediately.

“It is the latest in a series of threats against elected representatives since Monday.

“This is the work of facists who cannot accept the democratic decision ofBelfast City Council.

“Threats remain against Alliance Councillor Laura McNamee, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly and Cllr Jim McVeigh. Each and everyone of these threats must be lifted."

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Sinn Féin Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile has called on Unionist leaders in east Belfast to send a clear message that the people of the Short Strand must be respected.

Speaking after union flags were erected outside St Matthew’s Church and homes along Strand Walk Cllr Ó Donnghaile said:

"Once again we see people in this community being subjected to attempts at intimidation by others hell bent on marking territory.

“Union flags have only recently been removed from this stretch of the road in October. Last night’s activities are nothing more than an attempt to intimidate and heighten tensions in an already difficult period.

“I would call on unionist leaders in this part of the city to finally state clearly that the age old resort within Loyalism, to attack and seek to intimidate people in the Short Strand, can no longer be tolerated.

“I will work with all those in the east of the city who are determined to ease tensions and improve community relations, in spite of attempts by others to undermine that work.” 

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Speaking during Leaders Questions yesterday Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD called on Fine Gael and Labour to reverse the cut to the Respite Care Grant describing it as wrong, unjustifiable, and mean spirited.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Budget 2013 has certainly failed the fairness test. It is a betrayal of those who believed Labour’s promises and voted for the party in the last election. It’s an all-out attack on families, children, the elderly and in particular women.

“Cuts to Child Benefit, to Maternity Benefit and to the Back to School allowance are shocking to me as a mother. However the cut to the Respite Care Grant is particularly despicable.

“Labour and Fine Gael have cut €325 from more than 77,000 families in the country, 20,000 of whom receive no other support from the state for providing full-time care for a family member. Carers protect and care for the most vulnerable in society, in some cases children with severe disabilities.

“For government to hit families of children with disabilities with the double whammy of cuts to Child Benefit and cuts to the Respite Care Grant makes a mockery of the Children’s Referendum.

“The cut is wrong and it needs to be stopped now. Labour and Fine Gael could have truly taxed wealth, but they choose not to. Labour protected the wealthy and no amount of spin will change that.

“The cut to the Respite Carer’s Grant will be debated in the Dáil next week, which provides the government with an opportunity to withdraw this penny-pinching cut. Cutting respite care is wrong, it’s unjustifiable, its mean spirited and it should be reversed.” ENDS

Videos

Sights and sounds from Bodenstown 2015


Photos

Palestinian minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addressing the hearing in Brussels.