Sinn Féin committed to reversing budget cuts and Universal Social Charge – Doherty
Speaking at the launch of his party’s election manifesto in Dublin this morning Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty said his party is committing to reversing the savage cuts contained in December’s budget such as the Universal Social Charge and the social welfare cuts.
Deputy Doherty said the exchequer deficit cannot be closed without growing the economy and tackling the jobs crisis.
“In this election manifesto we set out to put Ireland back on the Road to Recovery. As Sinn Féin members have been campaigning across the country in the last few weeks the issue that has come up time and again is Jobs.
“Since 2007, when the Fianna Fáil/Green Government took office, 300,000 jobs have been lost in the Irish economy. In recent weeks the ESRI has predicted that 100,000 people will emigrate from this country over the next two years. This is more than at any stage during the recession in the 1980’s.
“We aim to tackle this crisis through our jobs stimulus plan, through investing €7 billion in a jobs plan over the next 3.5 years.
“Ireland faces into this year with an exchequer deficit of €18.7 billion. It is imperative that we close that deficit and Sinn Féin is committed to doing just that. However you cannot close the deficit if you do not grow the economy and tackle the jobs crisis.
“The Government’s plan outlined in the Four Year plan and endorsed by Fine Gael and Labour is for a programme of austerity budgets. The reality is that if cuts were the answer to this crisis they would have worked by now.
“Sinn Féin stood alone of the political parties last November in arguing against the consensus for cuts and arguing for a six year plan to close the deficit. We welcome the fact that others have since endorsed our approach.
“Sinn Féin is committing in this manifesto to revere the savage cuts introduced in December’s Budget. We will reverse measures such as the Universal Social Charge and the cuts to Social welfare.
“We do not believe that the poorest in society should pay for the economic mismanagement of Fianna Fáil in Government. Rather we believe that those who can pay more should pay more.” ENDS