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Largest cuts to social welfare reveal Bord Snip’s political agenda

16 July, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Responding to the contents of ‘An Bord Snip Nua’ report published today, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the government has made a conscious and motivated decision to bail out the banks, indebting taxpayers for decades to come, but refuses to stimulate the economy to keep people employed and is quite happy to cut dole payments at the same time.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said Sinn Féin has identified €80 billion worth of savings which don’t target the vulnerable, through abandoning the ludicrous NAMA plan. He added, “The government is on a crash diet. They don’t care about the long-term consequences, they just want to inflict pain now on sections of the economy which they have no vested interests in so they can make-up for their own mistakes and look good to international suitors.”

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“The vast majority of the proposals in the Bord Snip Nua report should not be implemented. The government should make this clear and not allow people struggling on social welfare or at risk of losing their jobs, to be worried sick about how they will survive. Yes we need a more efficient public service, yes the waste of public money which this government has pursued for years must be stopped and yes higher paid public servants can cope with a reduction in their wages.

“But the Bord Snip report is not the solution. Any savings it suggests will only go towards bailing out the banks through NAMA. The approach to the fiscal crisis the state is facing needs to be underpinned by a vision for the future of the state. We need to be coming out of this crisis with the infrastructure, skills and public services that will put us at the top of competitiveness rankings and that will deliver improved quality of life for all our citizens.

“Bord Snip was not independent. Colm McCarthy has always had a right-wing political agenda. The cuts in this report reflect that agenda. He was sent off to identify €3.5 billion in savings and came back with €5.2. Half of that is in social welfare and health and children. We still haven’t had the report from the Commission on Taxation to identify where revenue can actually be raised.

“There are savings that can be made. It involves choices and Sinn Féin would not choose social welfare cuts. There are also more taxes that can be raised without harming ordinary PAYE workers and consumption, like a wealth tax. The government hasn’t looked at these options because it is politically motivated to protect the well-off.

“The government is on a crash diet. They don’t care about the long-term consequences, they just want to inflict pain now on sections of the economy which they have no vested interests in so they can make-up for their own mistakes and look good to international suitors.” ENDS

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