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Ó Snodaigh accuses Fine Gael and Labour of ‘Opposition by Fooling’

23 November, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking during a Fine Gael motion on Corporation Tax, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh accused Fine Gael and Labour of being part of the consensus for cuts and claimed that was why Fine Gael had not tabled a motion directly related to the IMF and the Budget.

He also stated that his party did not favour an increase in corporation tax as claimed by Enda Kenny.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said: “James Connolly once used the phrase Ruling by Fooling. He would certainly have plenty to justify that in the midst of the comic opera farce that is the hallmark of the dying days of this Government.

“He would also perhaps be tempted to coin a new phrase. Opposition by Fooling.

“Fine Gael and indeed the Labour Party are attempting to fool the people into believing that they are outraged by the current administrations plans to savage the Irish people in the interests of their banker and speculator friends. In fact they have accepted the timetable for reducing the deficit and have also accepted the need for massive cutbacks which will be borne by the ordinary people of this state.

“They may argue about whether the cuts should be of the order of €6 billion or merely €4.5 billion. They may express outrage at the IMF having being handed over control of the country’s finances. They may castigate the Government which has been responsible for that.

“But when the smoke clears they have themselves signed up to the consensus for cuts. They have also expressed their willingness to act as the executive arm of the IMF and whatever theatre is being acted out between them is merely to do with which party will have the biggest numbers in the coalition that will administer those cuts when the present sorry bunch shuffle off the stage.

“It is also perhaps puzzling that in the midst of the current turmoil, with inspired leaks hinting at what the Budget has in store for us, that Fine Gael should hone in on the issue of Corporation Tax.

“We are being told that the minimum wage will be reduced, that people’s homes will be taxed, that we will have to pay for water, that social welfare payments will be cut, that thousands of public servants will be thrown onto the dole.

“You might imagine that Fine Gael might regard these as issues of concern. Certainly most people do. But then to do so would be hypocritical seen as that they have already indicated that they will do the same things or something similar or even worse themselves.

“In relation to the issue of taxation or any other aspect of domestic economic policy my party will not accept being dictated to by the IMF or the EU, and that includes not being forced to increase the rate of corporation tax.

“Indeed we are the only party that is consistent on that as we are the only party in this house that is not willing to implement anything the IMF tells us.

“We are also the only party in this House which opposed the Lisbon Treaty which of course surrendered further control over this state to Brussels although in fairness that appears almost irrelevant in the context of the current abject surrender to the IMF.

“So is Fine Gael telling us that it is acceptable for the IMF and the EU to tell us to sack thousands of workers or sell off state assets but not to raise corporation tax? Clearly they are. Does the Labour Party agree with them on that and if not how will they resolve that if and when on the other side of this House. Or will they use the excuse that they have been placed in a strait jacket and have no choice but to do beastly things to the people who elected them.

“We oppose all diktats from the IMF and Brussels, whether that has to do with destroying our public services or raising corporation tax. In that we are at least consistent.

“Indeed so far as I am aware no party here currently advocates raising the rate of corporation tax. Why then waste time in the middle of an unprecedented economic calamity to have us all say what everyone knows already?”


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