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Cowen harks back to worst of Haughey era — Morgan

15 November, 2009


Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said that a speech by Taoiseach Brian Cowen to an Ógra Fianna Fáil conference yesterday harks back to the worst of the Haughey era in Irish politics and that his comments should be a wake-up call to anyone who has forgotten whose interests Fianna Fáil will defend in the current economic crisis.

Arthur Morgan said

“Addressing delegates at the Óga Fianna Fáil conference yesterday, Brian Cowen repeated exactly former Fianna Fáil Taoiseach Charles Haughey’s immortal and infamous words that ‘We are living way beyond our means’.

“This harking back to the worst of the Haughey era should be a wake-up call to anyone who has forgotten whose interests Fianna Fáil will defend in the current economic crisis.

“When Haughey told people in the 1980’s that they were living beyond their means, he and others continued to enjoy extravagantly affluent lifestyles. While ordinary people carried the burden of hard economic times, the wealthy were immune from paying their fair share and were facilitated in hiding their wealth in offshore bank accounts.

“Nothing has changed. As in the 1980’s, this Fianna Fáil-led government is determined the bleed ordinary workers dry while protecting an idle elite.

“There is a determined effort to scapegoat those who worked hard all their lives and because of the government’s economic mismanagement find themselves unemployed. They now face the prospect of having their social welfare slashed. Are we really supposed to believe these people and pensioners are living beyond their means?

“Meanwhile, senior civil servants and governments ministers are living way beyond our means as tax payers. Their wages have to be drastically cut.

“Those who made vast fortunes on property speculation and banking during the ‘Celtic Tiger era’ continue to enjoy affluent lifestyles while ordinary taxpayers carry the can for their recklessness. They must be subject to higher taxes and a wealth tax has to be introduced.”

“It is unacceptable to seek to address the current shortfall in public revenue by targeting the least well off. Cuts have to happen but they should start at the top." ENDS

Note to Editor: Sinn Fein will launch its pre-budget submission tomorrow, Monday 16th November, in the Georgian Suite, Buswells Hotel at 12noon.

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