Campaign to reverse budget cuts gathering momentum
Sinn Féin is holding protests at the constituency offices of 15 Government Ministers and Junior Ministers this weekend as part of the campaign to reverse the government's savage budget cuts. Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty said 'the campaign to reverse the government's totally unjust budget cuts is gathering momentum and if there is sufficient public pressure frontline health and education services can be protected.'
Senator Doherty said:
"Today Sinn Féin is holding protests at the constituency offices of 15 Government Ministers and Junior Ministers as part of the campaign to reverse the government's savage budget cuts.
"Everyone knows that the economy is in a very difficult situation and that the shortfall in public finances has to be addressed urgently. But instead of targeting working families and those most vulnerable the government should have asked those who can better afford to do so to pay a little more. They should also have brought forward a job creation strategy to get as many people as possible back into the workforce, with the aim of increasing revenue so as to avoid further cuts, and lessening the pressure on the social welfare system.
"The government does not have public support for their budget. Public anger around the medical card and class size measures is palpable and warranted. The campaign to reverse the government's totally unjust budget cuts is gathering momentum and if there is sufficient public pressure frontline health and education services can be protected.
"The government has choices. They could have raised up to €1billion by making all discretionary tax relief schemes available only at the standard rate. They could have raised €334million by getting rid of the PRSI ceiling, something supported by government departments. They could have ended tax breaks for private hospitals. They could have accessed the National Pension Reserve Fund for key infrastructure projects.
"It is in the interests of everyone in the country that public finances are put in order and the economy turns the corner but that won't happen through short-sighted decisions that could have serious consequences long into the future. Instead of adopting a fingers crossed approach the government needs to bring forward a serious economic strategy that shows how the economy is going to grow this year, next year and into the future." ENDS
Full list of pickets:
Brian Lenihan’s Constituency Office, Castleknock 12-1pm ( MEP Mary Lou MacDonald, Cllr Paul Donnelly)
Mary Coughlan’s Office, Donegal Town at 1pm ( Sen. Pearse Doherty, Cllr Padraig Mac Lochlainn)
Willie O’Dea, Constituency office, Glenview Gardens, Limerick 1pm
Batt O’Keeffe – link road Ballincollig, Cork 1pm
Dermot Ahern's office, Dundalk, Co Louth. 1.30pm (Arthur Morgan TD, Cllr and EU Candidate Tomás Sharkey)
Eamon O’Cuiv's office, Galway City 12-1pm
Micheal Martin, Constituency Office, Cork 2 pm before city rally (Cllr Jonathan O'Brien)
John Moloney's office, Mountmellick, Co Laois. 1pm
Dick Roche’s constituency office in Bray at 2.30pm `(Cllr John Brady)
Sean Haughey’s constituency office Malahide Rd 12-1pm (Cllr Larry O'Toole)
John Curran’s Constituency Office Clondalkin Village 1-2pm (Cllr Shane O'Connor)
Eamon Ryan, Dundrum Town Centre (Shaun Tracey and Oonagh O’Reilly)
Martin Cullen, Waterford City 5pm ( Cllr David Cullinane)
John McGuinness’s constituency office Kilkenny City 10.30am (EU Candidate Kathleen Funchion)