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Ó Clochartaigh only Galway Senator to oppose Social Welfare cuts

11 November, 2013


Speaking after the Seanad voted to pass the Social Welfare Bill, Sinn Féin spokesperson on The West, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh said:

“I am disappointed that my fellow Galway Senators failed to protect the people of the West from the cruel cuts contained in this budget.

“By passing this piece of legislation the Seanad proves yet again that it is firmly on the side of the government parties and unwilling and unable to stand up for workers, the unemployed, children and the elderly.

“During the recent referendum on the abolition of the Seanad these very same people vigorously defended their role in the Seanad and proclaimed themselves to be the guardians of the people and the bulwark against harsh and draconian cuts.

“The passage of the Social Welfare Bill by thirty-two votes to seventeen proves that this was just empty rhetoric and without substance.

“I am particularly aggrieved that Galway Senators Lorraine Higgins, Hildegaarde Naughton and Michael Mullins supported the Government’s austerity policies. But no other Galway Senator opposed them except myself and that is equally unacceptable.

“By voting in favour of the Bill, the Galway based Senators chose instead to ratify draconian cuts to young people, to the elderly, and to new mothers.

“It would seem that they see nothing wrong with cutting maternity benefits to new mothers that will force them to return to work early.

“Neither are they reluctant to do away with the bereavement and telephone allowance for the elderly, and perhaps worst of all to cut dole payments to young people under the age of twenty-five. If ever there was a pro-emigration stimulus then surely this budget is it.

“Unfortunately Fine Gael and Labour have nothing to offer only cuts, unemployment, emigration and poor public services. All the while Senators Higgins, Naughton, Healy-Eames and Mullins have failed to defend the people of Galway, young and old, from the policies of austerity. The people of Galway deserve better.”

END

Ó Clochartaigh an t-aon Seanadóir as Gaillimh a throid na ciorruithe Leasa Shóisialaigh.

“Ag labhairt dó tar éis dó vótáil ar son an Bhille Leasa Shóisialaigh, deir urlabhraí Shinn Féin don Iarthar, an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh:

“Tá díomá orm nár thapaigh mo chuid comhleacaithe Seanaid as Gaillimh an deis cosaint a thabhairt do phobal an Iarthar ó na ciorruithe míthrócaireacha atá sa bhuiséad seo.

“Léiríonn glacadh an tSeanaid leis an bpíosa reachtaíochta seo go bhfuil siad claonta go láidir i dtreo na páirtithe Rialtais agus nach bhfuil siad sásta seasamh ar son gnáth oibrithe, daoine dífhostaithe, leanaí agus an aosach.

“le linn an Reifrinn ar thodhchaí an tSeanad le déanaí ba iad seo na daoine céanna a chosain an ról atá acu sa Seanad agus iad ag rá gurb iad cosantóirí an chosmhuintir iad agus go seasfaidís i gcoinne na ciorruithe déine míchothroma.

“Léiríonn glacadh leis na mBille Leasa Shóisialaigh le tríocha dó vóta i gcoinne seacht gcinn déag sa Seanad nach raibh sa mhéid sin ach baothchaint gan substaint.

“Cuireann sé as dom ach go h-áirithe gur thacaigh Seanadóirí na Gaillimhe Lorraine Higgins, Hildegaarde Naughton agus Michael Mullins leis an Rialtas agus a gcuid polasaithe déine. Ach, níor chuir aon Seanadóir eile Gaillimheach ina gcoinne ach an oiread agus is beag nach bhfuil sésin chomh dona céanna.

“Mar gur shocraigh siad vótáil leis an mBille, roghnaigh Seanadóirí na Gaillimhe tacú le ciorrithe gránna don aos-óg, don aosach agus do mháithreacha nua. Is léir nach bhfeiceann siad aon cheo mícheart tacaíocht do mhaithreacha nua a ghearradh a chuirfidh brú orthu filleadh chun oibre níos tuisce.

“Ní raibh mórán drogall orthu ach an oiread fáil réidh leis na deontais sochraide agus liúntais teileafóin don aosach agus an rud is measa ar fad b’fhéídir an laghdú ar íocaíochtaí leasa shóisialaigh do dhaoine dífhostaithe faoi cúig bliana fichead d’aois. Má bhí polasaí Rialtais ariamh ann a bhi i bhfábhar imirce ba é an bhuiséad seo é.

“Fararor, níl aon rud le n-ofráil ag Fine Gael agus an Lucht Oibre seachas ciorruithe, dífhostaíocht, imirce agus droch seirbhísí poiblí. Lena linn seo ar fad tá teipthe ar na Seanadóirí Higgins, Naughton, Healy-Eames agus Mullins maidir le cosaint a thabhairt do mhuintir na Gaillimhe idir óg agus aosta, ó pholasaithe na déíne. Tá ionadaíocht níos fearr tuilte ag pobal na Gaillimhe.”

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