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Labour party and Gilmore must explain their commitment to cuts – McDonald

19 July, 2010

Sinn Fein Vice President Marylou McDonald has called on the Labour party and Eamon Gilmore to explain their commitment to cutting public services. McDonald made her call following an interview with Eamon Gilmore on RTÉ this morning where he reiterated his party's support of government economic policy, which will inflict €3 billion in cuts in this year's budget.

McDonald said:

“The first words out of Eamon Gilmore's mouth this morning concerning the economy were that he agrees and his party agrees wholeheartedly with the Government’s economic 'plan' which would see €3 billion cut from the state's budget in December.

“Sinn Fein and in fact the Congress of Trade Unions, do not agree with the Government’s strategy. We do not believe the Government’s deficit reduction timeline is either viable or will be achieved. In fact, we have seen from yet another credit downgrading today that if anything the international credit ratings agencies are punishing us as a result of the government's ill thought out plan.

“The 2013 deadline to bring the deficit to within 3% will not be met and the harsh cuts regime being pursued by government and supported by Labour is actually contracting the economy, not expanding it. The Labour party seems content to join the government in ignoring the elephant in the room – the billions and billions in debt being incurred to bail out the banks while ordinary people are being told to tighten their belts and sacrifice their public services.

“Basically, the Labour Party does not know what it is talking about on the economy. They led the charge in the auction politics of 2007 and joined their right-wing counterparts in ridiculing my party for highlighting the need to stabilise taxes and curtail the property bubble. They are still religiously following the government line and attempting populist politics at the same time.

“I am calling on the Labour party to come out and explain their commitment to cuts in the next budget. They should outline what these cuts will be. Already their Dublin council members have told us that they will be implementing the harshest budget that this city has ever seen come December, with €35 million in cuts. People have a lot to fear if the Labour Party manages to get its hands on this state’s purse strings.” ENDS

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