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Sinn Féin will vote against cynical Social Welfare and Pensions Bill – Ó Snodaigh

8 June, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh has today stated that his party will vote against the “cynical and inappropriate” Social Welfare and Pensions Bill.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said that the inclusion of the restoration of the minimum wage in the Bill masks what amounts to a 16% cut in the state pension.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Before the election Fine Gael and Labour made a commitment to protect the state pension. Róisín Shorthall in May 2010 said that ‘the Labour Party will vigorously oppose any attempt to cut the state pension’. The measures contained in this Bill to raise the state pension age to 68 actually amount to a 16% cut in pension entitlements.

“The tactic of including the restoration of the minimum wage in the Bill is cynical in the extreme and is an attempt to muddy the waters to distract from the far-reaching attack on the state pension.

“This is yet another u-turn from a Government which has totally abandoned all of its pre-election commitments.

“There is no way Sinn Féin can support this Bill. We will have no choice but to vote against it.

“Tomorrow Sinn Féin will table an amendment on the Finance Bill to restore the minimum wage. We believe that this is the appropriate avenue to do this as the cut originated in a Finance Bill. I am calling on all parties to support this important amendment tomorrow.”

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