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Irish society cannot afford An Bord Snip Nua report – Morgan

16 July, 2009

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said Irish society cannot afford to implement the proposed cuts contained in the report from An Bord Snip Nua. Deputy Morgan criticised Colm McCarthy for proposing cuts to the lowest earners in society while earning €1,000 a week for preparing the report.

Deputy Morgan said:

“For the government and An Bord Snip Nua to publish this report, with such harmful and detrimental cuts for the most vulnerable sections of society is an act of gross hypocrisy. Colm McCarthy himself was paid €35,000 over 8 months to do this report. He has no qualms in taking €1000 a week to do a report on public savings, while proposing cuts to those on €204.30 a week. Where is the economic logic there? Where is the rationale and cost-saving measures that is being espoused by An Bord Snip in this regard?

“Starving the low and middle income families of the necessary supports is not viable for economic recovery.

“There are savings to be made in the public sector, but not where he is suggesting them. Social welfare cannot afford to be cut, Child Benefit cannot afford be reduced, Household Benefits cannot afford be taxed and Ireland cannot afford to adopt the recommendations of An Bord Snip Nua.

“The government need to question how, in advance of the European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion in 2010, Ireland will be dealing its harshest blow yet to those struggling families that have lost their incomes as a result of job losses, those families who have to wait weeks to get any sort of subsistence from the State, the families that were encouraged to take out exponential mortgages and now have no means to make payment. For the Irish government that are so keen to redeem themselves in the eyes of foreign lenders, the European Year will highlight how the Government has failed these margins of society, especially if An Bord Snip’s recommendations are to be adopted.

“And, on top of these proposed cutbacks, Eurostat figures today revealed that Ireland is the second dearest place in Europe to live making life even more difficult for those on low incomes.

“I especially find the remarks on welfare payments being a disincentive to labour participation repugnant. While members of the group may be privileged enough to have a career and an extra job on the side, ordinary Irish people are struggling to keep their jobs or indeed to find a job. No-one takes pride in having to stand in a queue for Social Welfare or having to scrape by on the crumbs afforded to them by government.”

“Colm McCarthy surely is Doctor Evil in this respect for he has prescribed more pain and misery for the poor as a form of recovery for everyone else.” ENDS

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