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Labour acting as mud guard for Fine Gael’s right wing policies – McDonald

1 December, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this morning during leader’s questions Sinn Féin Deputy Leader and Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD criticised the Tánaiste for his government’s failure to tackle soaring unemployment and also the Transport Ministers derisory comments on radio this morning regarding next week’s budget.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Transport Minister Leo the Lion gazumped the entire government and announced the Budget this morning on radio. Minister Varadkar suggested that nobody will be worse off after this budget.

“To add insult to injury Minister Varadkar believes the only people who will pay the price of Budget 2012 will be Ministers and senior civil servants as the rest of us will all be off on yet another holiday.

“The Transport Minister’s comments are an insult to the 448,600 citizens who are now on the dole. Minister Varadkar's comments are an insult to the 22.5% who are living in deprivation unable to heat their home during the winter months.”

Deputy McDonald challenged the Tánaiste asking him did he too believe this Budget will be easy on struggling families and the vulnerable.

“The Labour party are preparing to back a savagely unfair Budget. What is the purpose of Labour remaining in this Government; is it just to act as a mud guard for Fine Gael and explain away their right wing policies and downright offensive views?

“We have seen this week the half-hearted measures this Government has taken to tackle the pension’s scandal. Labour and Fine Gael, you’re going to take €1 a day off Ray Burke and leave former Taoisigh to live off €147,000 a year in what is nothing more than a tokenistic gesture.

“This government protects the high rollers whilst it lines up cuts to child benefit, increases in student registration fees and threatens to close community nursing homes across the state. All the while breaking the commitments you made to the electorate to get into office. Nine months in government and all Labour and Fine Gael have to show for their efforts is the same failed politics of their predecessors.” ENDS 

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