Sinn Féin has identified funds to increase social welfare spend – Ó Snodaigh
Sinn Féin Social Protection Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, speaking in the Dáil today during the debate on the economy said his party’s pre-budget submission, to be launched next Monday, has identified funding to keep all existing social welfare schemes and benefits in place with their rates holding at current levels.
Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:
“Many constituents have contacted me, urging me to make a commitment to protect the poorest. My party and I have made that commitment. I would urge the government to do the same. And I would advise those Fianna Fáil deputies who have signed up to protect the poorest (Deputies John Browne, Michael Kitt, Michael Moynihan, Eamon Scanlon and Beverley Flynn) - the public will be watching you come Budget day. It’s very easy to put your name on a petition, it’s meaningless unless you vote the right way.
“If the government, Fine Gael and Labour persist in their determination to reduce the deficit to 3% by 2014, cutting €15 billion from the economy to do so they will impoverish thousands of thousands of families.
“Sinn Féin rejects the consensus of cuts. Sinn Féin rejects the government’s approach to economic recovery.
“In stark contrast to the government, Fine Gael and Labour, increased funding for social welfare is an integral part of Sinn Féin’s approach to economic recovery. Social welfare recipients spend their income and as such this form of public spending acts as a much needed stimulus for the real economy and involves a significant employment kick-back.
“I can confirm today that Sinn Féin have sourced the funding to keep all existing social welfare schemes and benefits in place with their rates holding at current levels. We have also found the funding necessary to re-instate the Christmas Payment and to introduce refundable tax credits which will benefit lower paid workers and significantly enhance the progressivity of the tax system. Full details and costings will be included in our Pre-budget submission which we will publish next Monday.
“Government policymaking seems to work from the assumption that spending can be cut without depressing activity and the tax revenues that flow from it. Likewise it is assumed that cutting welfare payment levels will produce savings-even as the numbers entitled to welfare payments rise.
“The Governments fiscal contraction is unaffordable and it is this fiscal position that will remain a growth-sapping one, with potentially disastrous consequences.” ENDS