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O'Keeffe being disingenous on social welfare budget - Doherty

14 November, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has slammed Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe for being disingenous when he suggests that the Social Welfare budget must be cut in order to make the €4 billion savings in public spending in the next budget. Senator Doherty said Sinn Féin has identified where the €4 billion can be found without targeting social welfare and including the reinstatement of the Christmas Social Welfare payment at a cost of €223 million.

Speaking today Senator Doherty said:

"Sinn Féin accepts the need to save €4 billion in this year's budget. However, unlike Batt O'Keeffe and the Government I do not accept that to do this we must target the social welfare budget for cuts.

"In fact Sinn Féin has identified where the savings can be made without targeting social welfare or public services and we would reinstate the Christmas social welfare payment.

"For example, if a third tax band of 48% was applied to income above €100,000, a return of €355million would be made dwarfing the €223 required to reinstate the Christmas Bonus payment.

"Minister O'Keeffe in being disingenous when he suggests that the €4 billion cannot be saved without cutting the social welfare budget. The fact is that he would rather see the least well off in society pay for this mess rather than targeting those who can actually afford to pay." ENDS

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