Sinn Féin - On Your Side

PDs - Party of Privilege not Party of the People

26 March, 2004

Sinn Féins European Candidate for the South Constituency, David Cullinane, today accused the P.D's of being a party of privilege not a party of the people. Speaking before their convention in Killarney David said that they are the driver of a government which has consistently supported the well off at the expense of those most in need.

David Cullinane said: "It is typical of the PD‚s to call for a visit by the British Queen, a person who came by her wealth through pillaging the world and her own people. The PD's are a party of the privileged, a party which drives the government's right wing policies. These are policies which divert the states resources towards the very rich while cutting support from those who need it most.

"This weekend the PD‚s will be celebrating in Killarney. But behind the bright lights of the hotel lies an Ireland of unequals, an Ireland this party cares little about. I have been campaigning in Kerry for the past weeks and I have seen first hand the very real problems people have as a result of this party's policies.

In 2000, the Lisbon Council set a priority of the priority in the EU of „Increasing the access of the most vulnerable and those at risk of social exclusion to decent housing, quality health and life long learning opportunities.

Since then the PD driven government has overseen:

  • The worst housing crisis in the countries history
  • A worsening two tier health system
  • The abolition of CE schemes, on which the most marginalised depend.
  • The reduction in home helps for those whose lives depend on them
  • An increasing erosion of rural communities and their support structures

"If anything sums up this party‚s philosophy it is the scandal over pensions. By privatising pensions this government has subsidised the well healed at the expense of the less well off. In 1999 the state subsidised private pensions to the tune of £844 m while social welfare pensions cost £728m. 60% of this tax relief benefit went to the richest 30% of the country. This is the same government who felt that they had to cut back social welfare benefits from working widows.

"The PD‚s sustained policy in government has been to favour their rich friends at the expense of everyone else. They should hang their head in shame not celebrate."ENDS

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