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Fine Gael playing political football with Social Welfare – Ó Snodaigh

15 December, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking in the Dáil this evening on a private members motion on Social Welfare cuts Sinn Féin spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh accused Fine Gael of playing political football with the issue of social welfare. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said Fine Gael also proposed social welfare cuts in its pre-budget proposals.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Fine Gael wanted cuts to social welfare – they did exclude carers, the disabled and the blind, but they didn’t exclude widows, young people coming out of college, parents who have lost their jobs and are struggling to cope with Christmas. They are just playing political football with this issue, they have no real concern about social welfare recipients or the most vulnerable. In government they would do the same, if not worse than FF and the Greens. Remember the last time they were in power during a recession – they put a tax on children’s shoes.

“Social welfare did not need to be touched. There were many measures the government could have taken to raise money to reduce the deficit – a third tax rate, abolishing the PRSI ceiling, abolishing the tax breaks abused by high earners, establish a wealth tax, stop putting public money into private healthcare. The government took the option that offered the least electoral pain.

“Labour and Fine Gael both buy into the same economic analysis as Fianna Fáil and the Greens. They are not offering an alternative, just the same measures wrapped up in different terms. None of these parties will fix Ireland’s economy.” ENDS

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