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Sinn Féin will stand up for the unemployed and low paid – Ó Snodaigh

21 February, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking today Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh has reiterated his party’s commitment to reversing Fianna Fáil’s budget cuts and to standing up for the unemployed and lowest paid.

Speaking from the Social Welfare office on Tara Street Ó Snodaigh said:

“Fianna Fáil’s austerity measures have attacked the lowest paid, those on social welfare and the working poor. They have been at the helm of an unemployment crisis and have placed more of a priority on bailing out toxic banks and bondholders than protecting the most vulnerable and creating employment.

“Social welfare payments have been drastically cut and people are struggling to cope. The poorest of the poor are being punished because of a lack of an affective job creation plan.

“The Universal Social Charge is an unfair and regressive flat tax and should be scrapped. It should be replaced with a progressive taxation system which makes those who have more, pay more.

“The cut to the minimum wage is an affront to workers rights and is yet another targeted attack at the least well off in society.

“Unlike Fine Gael and Labour we in Sinn Féin have stated unequivocally that if elected to government we would reverse these draconian measures. We would implement our alternative budget based on burning the bondholders, making the wealthy pay their fair share and creating employment. I am reiterating that statement today.

“We in Sinn Féin are committed to:

- Reversing the social welfare cuts
- Abolishing the Universal Social Charge
- Reversing the cut to the minimum wage
- Introducing refundable tax credits
- Changing PRSI rules to protect the self-employed if their businesses fail

“It is not good enough to claim to oppose these measures while refusing to commit to overturn them. All parties must outline where they stand on these issues. Any new government must, as a priority implement a new budget and consign these despicable cuts and to the dustbin of history.” ENDS

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