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SDLP can’t explain support for Austerity Treaty – Reilly

19 April, 2012

Sinn Féin’s EU spokesperson Senator Kathryn Reilly has said that former SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie MP has failed to explain why her party is supporting the Austerity Treaty in the South while claiming to be leading the charge in opposing Tory cuts at Westminster.

Ms Ritchie today addressed the Oireachtas sub-committee on the Treaty.

Senator Reilly said:

“When I asked Ms Ritchie to explain why her party is supporting the austerity treaty which will impose an extra €6 billion in austerity on the people in the 26 counties she could not give an explanation and completely failed to answer. When I asked why her party is taking a different line to the mainstream social democrat movement across Europe, who the SDLP are aligned to and who are opposing this Treaty, she had no answer.

“The SDLP say that they are opposed to Tory cuts in the North because they will be detrimental to the local economy and will impact worst on the most vulnerable in society. This is in complete contrast to supporting a treaty that will enshrine austerity into law in the South with devastating results for the most vulnerable.

“The SDLP’s support for this treaty puts them firmly on the side of the right wing proponents of austerity and with the banks and with the southern establishment in this debate.”

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