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Government cuts agenda will drive state deeper into recession — Ó Snodaigh

16 November, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Social and Family Affairs Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said today that cuts to social welfare were not merely unjust but were also the least likely way to reduce the budget deficit and would in fact push the economy further into recession.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“The mantra from the government that social welfare is too high and is the first point of call for cuts in this budget is shameful. Is there any member of government who could survive on €204 per week? That is the figure they believe it is acceptable to cut.

“Sinn Féin has proposed ways to raise sufficient money to both stimulate the economy and contribute to closing the deficit without touching a cent of social welfare. We have also found funds to reintroduce the Christmas Bonus, putting us a step ahead of other parties who have called for its return but have not set out financial proposals to pay for it.

“Government proposals to slash social welfare are not merely unjust but they will further contract the economy. We are reliant on indirect taxation because of this government’s destruction of the tax system. Cutting social welfare will immediately be felt in VAT and other receipts. The fall in consumption will also hit more jobs in the retail sector.

“The first step to stop the rising social welfare bill is intervention to retain and create jobs. Safe-guarding existing jobs and taking people off dole queues would increase the tax take and reduce the social welfare bill.

“This Government’s blind ideological adherence to a misguided economic agenda aimed at punishing the least well of and most vulnerable sectors of society is not just morally bankrupt, it is driving this state deeper into recession.” ENDS

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