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Pairing arrangements for Social Welfare Bill condemned

10 December, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has condemned the pairing arrangements during last night’s vote on the Social Welfare Bill.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said four Fine Gael TDs including Deputy Leader James Reilly failed to defend their constituents against the savage social welfare cuts. He also accused a number of Dáil Deputies of breaking promises made to “The Poor Can’t Pay’ campaign.

He said:

“I want to condemn the pairing that occurred during the vote on the Social Welfare Bill yesterday evening. Four Fine Gael TDs failed to defend their constituents against savage social welfare cuts when they failed to oppose the Bill during yesterday's vote. Included were the party's Deputy Leader James Reilly and former Spokesperson on Social Protection Olwyn Enright.

“Deputy Reilly has been doing a lot of talking on media airwaves this week about how outraged he was by the unfairness of the budget but when push came to shove he didn't oppose the social welfare bill.

“It was just two months ago that Fine Gael announced to the Irish public that they were withdrawing pairing support for all important votes. Evidently the fate of thousands of job seekers, carers, widows, people with disabilities and lone parents isn't a priority for Fine Gael.

“In the interests of public accountability I also want to highlight the broken promises of Deputies John Browne, Michael Kitt, Michael Moynihan, Eamon Scanlon, Beverly Flynn and Ciarán Cuffe all of whom failed to use their vote yesterday to prevent social welfare cuts despite having made a personal commitment to The Poor Can't Pay Campaign that they would do ‘everything in [their] power to ensure that the poorest in our society do not face further cuts in their income’.

“The value of their word will be tested again this afternoon when the cut to the minimum wage proposed by Fianna Fáil and the Green Party will be put to a vote.” ENDS

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