Fine Gael and Labour helping to prolong life of Government – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Dáil Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said the decision of Fine Gael and the Labour Party to join the Fianna Fail/Green Consensus for Cuts will help to prolong the life of this Government.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said the four parties are all now agreed on the strategy of savage cuts for the next four years while Sinn Féin remains the only party opposing cutbacks and promoting a tax overhaul and an economic stimulus strategy.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said today:
“While both Fine Gael and Labour have feigned criticism of the Government up to this point many people have been aware that there was an unspoken consensus among those parties on their economic outlook. All of them have signed up to the proposal to cut the budget deficit to 3% by 2014 on the basis of savage cuts to public spending.
“In persuading these parties to enter an official consensus today Brian Cowen has pulled off a political masterstroke. He has shown the political opposition of Fine Gael and Labour to be bankrupt and both of those parties are now helping to prolong the life of this Government.
“The outcome of the Consensus for Cuts will be extreme hardship and further poverty for ordinary people.
“Sinn Féin remains the only party opposing cuts to frontline services and promoting a tax overhaul and an economic stimulus strategy.
“We will offer a plan to cut the deficit to 3% by 2016 rather than 2014 but we will not rely on savage cutbacks to do so. Instead we will look at a range of new tax measures targeted at those who can afford to pay more while ending the waste in public spending.
“But we also offer an economic stimulus package because we know that there can be no recovery without economic growth. The spending cuts inflicted in this state have had a devastating social impact and have done nothing to actually reduce the growing deficit. They have cut disposable incomes, taken money out of circulation and contracted the economy.” ENDS