Ferris challenges Labour on financial proposals
The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Workers Rights Martin Ferris TD has challenged the Labour Party to state whether they stand with the Government or with the trade unions and community sector on the timetable and scale of proposed cutbacks.
Deputy Ferris said: “In recent weeks Labour has agreed with the Government on the timetable to reduce the deficit to 3% by 2014. ICTU, Sinn Féin and a number of economists including the ESRI have rejected this as impractical. Labour has also proposed pay freezes and cuts in social welfare. Again, ourselves and the trade unions have opposed this.
“Labour has also allowed itself to be bullied into accepting the austerity template to the extent where it has failed to put forward a coherent strategy for growth. As the ICTU budget proposal and our own budget submission make clear there are ways to both protect social provisions and to stimulate the economy and create jobs and growth. One of those means is to use the National Pension Reserve.
“At a time when this Government is preparing an unprecedented assault on the citizens of this state, those who claim to have a better way need to make a stand. That also applies to the Labour Party. Are they part of the consensus which agrees on the timetable and scale of cuts to facilitate the bondholders, or are they part of an alternative consensus that will protect the ordinary people of this state and find a way out of the current crisis through an imaginative strategy for growth. ” ENDS