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‘An Bord Snip’ plan would have huge social consequences — Adams

17 July, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan

Commenting today on the report by the so-called 'An Bord Snip Nua' Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said that if implemented its proposals would have devastating social consequences.

Gerry Adams said:

"As well as dismantling the health service, effectively abolishing the medical card system, slashing social welfare, increasing the pupil-teacher ratio in our already under-funded schools and reducing special needs assistants, the recommendations of this report directly threaten the future sustainability of rural communities.

"Many communities across rural Ireland - particularly in the West and Border regions - never saw the wealth and prosperity that some enjoyed during the Celtic Tiger era.

"Now they, along with those people who are trying to survive on the lowest income levels, are to be asked to pay the heaviest price for the government's mismanagement of the economy over the past decade and more.

“We have already seen the damaging effect of the widescale closure of local post offices. But the proposals in the McCarthy report would tear the heart out of rural communities and would have huge social consequences. It would see:

* The closure of rural primary schools

* The cutting of capitation grants for primary schools

* The closure Garda stations

* The end of funding for rural transport schemes

* Cuts in the Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPs)

* Cuts in the Disadvantaged Area Scheme

* An end to the public service obligation for regional airports

* The closure of certain rail lines

"The implementation of this plan would result once again in rural Ireland facing decimation from emigration and de-population. Under no circumstances should the Government accept these disastrous recommendations.” ENDS

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