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Crowe - Tackling Poverty Should be at the Core of Budget

24 October, 2003

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Social and Family Affairs Seán Crowe TD has called on the Minister for Finance to put tackling poverty at the forefront of the forthcoming budget. Deputy Crowe attended the launch of Combat Poverty's Pre Budget Submission earlier this week

The Dublin South West TD said:

"Almost 6,000 people die prematurely in Ireland as a direct result of poverty. Three hundred thousand Irish children live in poverty and one in five Irish people live in poverty. These are the real achievements of the Celtic Tiger. Poverty levels in Ireland have risen from 18.1% to 20.9% since Fianna Fáil and the PDs came to power.

"Many of the cuts the Government has made in public services have fallen heaviest on people struggling to get by. The massive cuts in Community Employment for example devastated community resources on which thousands of people had become reliant.

"This state is one of the most unequal in the developed world and it is time the Government took steps to seriously address this. The past seven budgets have redistributed the wealth of the state to the well-off and wealthy in Irish society. Over the last six years the gap between rich and poor has widened by €276 as a result of this Government's Budget decision.

"Tackling poverty should be at the core of this year‚s Budget. The thousands of people getting by and raising a family on less than €150 a week, hit hard by stealth taxes and services charges, need for once, to have their concerns addressed by the Budget." ENDS

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