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Time to negotiate a new target to reduce deficit – Ó Caoláin

21 October, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said the 2014 target for reducing the budget deficit to 3% is completely unrealistic and called on the Government to negotiate a new timeframe with the EU.

Deputy Ó Caoláin accused the Consensus for Cuts - Government, Fine Gael and Labour - of deceiving the Irish people in an attempt to bluff international bondholders.

Speaking today after the ESRI report vindicated Sinn Féin’s position on cutting the deficit to 3% by 2016 Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“This morning’s ESRI report has completely vindicated the Sinn Féin position that 2014 was an unachievable target for cutting the deficit to 3%.

“I believe that the Government has known that this target is unachievable but pursued a political consensus around it in a fundamentally flawed attempt to create confidence in Ireland among international bondholders.

“The Government is also attempting to soften up the Irish people for a savage Budget 2011 with at least three more to follow. This is not just about the duration of the deficit reduction - it's also about how it is done and the Consensus for Cuts is preparing to attack people on low incomes, vital front-line public services and jobs.

“The Government, and their cohorts in the Consensus for Cuts, have been deceiving the Irish people in an attempt to bluff international bondholders. But this approach was always doomed to failure because it was a bluff that would inevitably have been found out.

“It is now time for these political parties to come clean and admit that 2014 is unachievable. The Government must go back to the EU and negotiate a more realistic target for reducing the deficit and all these parties must accept that there is a better way.” ENDS

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