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Cuts will delay urgent work to water system: Ó Snodaigh

10 November, 2011 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD


Sinn Féin enterprise spokesperson Peadar Tóibín TD has said the government’s capital expenditure cut is proof that the bailout of private bondholders and its associated austerity is the biggest threat to the Irish economy today.

Deputy Tóibín said today’s announcement will cost a further 7,500 jobs.

“The government’s capital expenditure cut is proof that the bailout of private bondholders and its associated austerity is the biggest threat to the Irish economy today.

"The government will reduce capital spend by €750 million resulting in a further 7,500 people being made unemployed.

“What we are witnessing is a debt-for-competitiveness swap where vital national infrastructural projects are being mothballed and the Irish economy is being physically weakened, because this government has decided to payoff unsecured, unguaranteed bondholders.

“This will result in higher costs to our citizens. It will make it harder for local businesses to survive and it will make Ireland less attractive to Foreign Direct Investment. Our future competitiveness and therefore our options for recovery are being significantly weakened by this government.

“Projects such as the Metro North, the A5 motorway to Derry and Donegal, the Dart underground and the Navan to Dublin railway would have significantly increased competitiveness and trade both in the mid-east and north-west region. The government’s commitment to build 40 new schools falls short of what is needed.

“There can be no recovery in this state without job creation. Capital investment in education, transport and technology create jobs immediately but also lead to increased competitiveness. Sinn Féin’s budgetary proposals to be launched next Tuesday will give detail to our investment programme.” ENDS

Responding to the publication of the Capital Investment Programme, today (Thursday) spokesperson for the No Water Charges campaign Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD condemned the wave of cuts to water investment.

“We know that it is not the householder, but the water distribution network, that is the biggest culprit when it comes to water waste, but the government is announcing a series of cuts which mean that the network will not be updated.

“Capital investment in water is being cut from almost €435 million in 2011 to €331 million in 2012. That’s a cut of €100 million or almost 25%. It’s a cut of nearly €200 million on the 2010 allocation, with more cuts planned until the budget is just €266 million.

“Our water distribution network is antiquated. A decade of under-investment means that in some local authority areas more than half the water is leaking away. The big freeze last winter and repeated flooding has caused more damage to the network, which urgently needs renovation.

“This government is gearing up to impose water charges on householders. The government claims that water is a precious resource but refuses to spend the money required to protect it. It’s expected that environment minister, Phil Hogan will shortly announce the introduction of meters and charges while overseeing an inadequate system,” he concluded.

ENDS

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