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Government policy needs to change dramatically to meet new challenges

7 May, 2008


Speaking ahead of today's election of Brian Cowen as Taoiseach Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said that government policy needs to change dramatically to meet new challenges. He went on to say that in the absence of a clear signal that there will be a serious change in the direction of the government Sinn Féin cannot support the election of Brian Cowen as Taoiseach.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"Since Fianna Fáil's return to office last year it has become increasingly clear that the government is struggling to cope with the challenges facing modern Ireland. There appears to be no coherent plan to manage the economy during the current downturn. Job creation and enterprise are not top of the agenda and the health service remains in disarray. Last June I said that the return of Mary Harney to the Health portfolio would be a disaster for the health services. That has proved to be the case. It is time for her to go and her policies with her.

"The state is shirking its responsibility to its young people by not delivering an adequate education system and in many instances children with special needs are completely excluded from the system due to a lack of investment.

"Serious crime and anti social behaviour intimidates and holds hostage communities throughout the country.

"Despite presiding over a decade of economic prosperity Fianna Fáil and its government partners have failed to lay the economic foundations and infrastructural investments needed to sustain the country during tighter times.

"It is unlikely that Brian Cowan will use this opportunity to make significant changes to the existing cabinet. It is also unlikely that his new position will herald any significant change in government policy or management of the country's affairs. If there is no clear signal that there will be a serious change in the direction of government Sinn Féin cannot support the election of Brian Cowen as Taoiseach.

"However in the event that the new Taoiseach decides to make a genuine commitment to take on these challenges, delivering a just and equal society, delivering a universal health service and working with all opinions across the island to bring about a United Ireland, Sinn Féin will work positively with that government." CRÍOCH

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