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Aengus Ó Snodaigh Ard Fheis speech on social welfare and pensions

6 March, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

The hypocrisy of this government knows no bounds.

This week they announced moves to make ordinary working people wait until they are 68 years old before they can retrieve their meager state pension.

But it’s a different story altogether when it comes to themselves, ministers or ex-ministers.

So I’ll put it up to them now, these shysters who call themselves ‘patriotic’ men and women of Ireland.

Give back your pensions!

Bertie Ahern is in receipt of a €98,000 state pension on top of his TD salary of over €90,000 and expenses – That is a whopping €5,000 a week in taxpayer’s money he is getting. He wasn’t worth it when he was Taoiseach, He’s not worth it now. Give back the pension!

What off Willy O’Dea, the disgraced minister forced out of office, also gets an annual €98 grand annual golden handshake!

And Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, the state’s new EU Commissioner, well the boys got you another lucrative job in Europe on a salary of €238,000 but she is still raking it in are greedily taking €65,000 plus of a state pension on top! She is earning nearly €6,000 a week, half of what those on social welfare are expected to survive on a year.

And its not just the bhoyos and girls in Fianna Fáil who are raking it in. Fine Gael’s former Taoiseach John Bruton was looked after also when he was given the lucrative post as the EU’s ambassador to the US while enjoying an annual ministerial pension of nearly €100,000. And there are many more.

This is the government and the decision makers who would have us believe that prices have fallen enough to justify slashing social welfare rates and to cut public sector wages and public services.

They claim people can live comfortably on less.

This government hasn’t got a clue. How many of them have ever spent a number days, never mind months, on the dole or on low pay.

They haven’t a clue about the daily hardships faced by hundreds of thousands of low paid workers across the state.

The reality is that most on low incomes or dependent on social welfare are struggling every week to make ends meet. The reality is that most of the daily essentials have actually gone up in price.

If these shysters, these ministers, left their chauffeur at home and got the bus, then maybe, they’d have noticed that bus fares are up 12%. They might also notice that dental fees are up, that doctor’s visits and electricity charges, hospital, education and childcare costs – have all gone up. And insurance premiums are about to rocket to boot.

The FF/Green Government need to release their grip from around the necks of those on low and middle incomes. There’s still plenty of wealth in this country – it’s time to target it!

I have one message for this Fianna Fáil/Green government

Get off the backs of the workers, resign!!!

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