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Less well-off carrying burden of economic recovery

29 January, 2009


Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has accused government of focussing on the less well-off to carry the burden of economic recovery.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"At times of economic difficulty both the British and Irish governments first port of call to make savings or increase revenue is always in areas that affect the less well-off most directly.

"There doesn't seem to be any attempt to source additional revenue from those who benefited most from the boom years of increasing house prices and corporate profits.

"It was not the unemployed and low-waged workers who gained most from the good times but it is they who are now expected to carry the burden of economic recovery by bailing out the very sectors that created the financial conditions that precipitated economic collapse.

"I believe that rather than targeting the front-line services for cut-backs that will inevitably lead to further unemployment and hardship that the governments should be identifying capital expenditure projects such as new schools, hospitals and roads infrastructure schemes whose start dates can be brought forward. They should also be drafting public procurement contracts in a format that will make them easily accessible to local SME's. This would reduce the number of redundancies while simultaneously increasing tax revenue. Let us work our way out of recession instead of trying to borrow our way out.

"There should also be an identifiable focus being put on government efforts to ensure that the rich and super-rich are carrying a proportionate share of measures required to lead us out of the current economic conditions."

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