Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Denial order of the day for failed Government

16 July, 2004


Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin, Mary Lou McDonald, has criticised the response of Government departments to the damning UN Human Development Report published this week.

Ms McDonald said the Irish people cannot be asked to "put any faith in a Government which insists on telling it black is white, instead of actually dealing with the problems presented to it."

Ms McDonald said:

"People throughout the country must be troubled that in a time of unprecedented prosperity in Ireland, 15.3% of the population live in poverty. It‚s an incredibly distressing revelation and one that is completely unacceptable in a first world country such as ours.

"More shocking still is the Government‚s response to the figures, which are compiled by an independent, international body, with recognised authority. Minister of State Tom Kitt has said that the statistics are wrong. What he hasn‚t said is that the figures used to compile the report would have been supplied by Government departments. The Government claims only 5 per cent of the population live in poverty. The Government is in denial.

"The current strategies to tackle poverty across the 32 counties - the National Anti Poverty Strategy and New Targeting Social Need - are completely inadequate. In the short-term the Government needs to:

-redraft its recommendations to eliminate poverty, including relative income poverty, child poverty and absolute poverty. Their strategies must have implementation plans with mechanisms for review and;

-create equitable and proportional taxation to generate revenue for spending on social inclusion and development, which should be clearly factored into the Budget.

"This report needs to be addressed in a serious manner. The public cannot be asked to put any faith in a Government which insists on telling it black is white, instead of actually dealing with the problems presented to it."ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin