Sinn Féin’s budget eases burden on vulnerable citizens – Gerry Adams
Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams outlined how Sinn Féin’s alternative budget would repair communities, rebuild the economy and renew society.
Speaking at the alternative budget launch today Mr Adams highlighted how fair and sustainable recovery would be supported by Sinn Féin’s fully costed budget.
Gerry Adams said:
“For the past number of years the Fine Gael/Labour Government has chosen the most brutal way to reduce the deficit. This was entirely unnecessary and has done untold damage to society.
“The Government made choices that penalised those on low and middle incomes and which deepened and lengthened the recession. Labour and Fine Gael embraced austerity. For example they choose emigration as a policy option. Almost half-a-million citizens have left this state in the last eight years. Those were the choices the Government made in their other Budgets.
“Every year, Sinn Féin demonstrated how the deficit could be reduced in a way that was fair, equitable and which protected public services and living standards.
“The Government says it will introduce a neutral Budget. It should be introducing a Budget that is fair, affordable and sustainable for citizens who have borne the brunt of austerity.
“The theme of Sinn Féin’s pre-budget submission is Repair the Community – Rebuild the Economy – Renew Society.
“It is about easing the burden on struggling families and vulnerable citizens. It is about rebuilding the domestic economy.
“The failure of the government to deal with retrospective bank capitalisation has locked future generations of Irish citizens into debt and placed an unsustainable burden on the economy.
“Following six years of pay cuts and new taxes many families can no longer meet daily living expenses without going into debt.
“Wages reductions mean that a job in Ireland is no longer a guarantee of making ends meet.
“Since this Government came to power just 47,100 net new jobs have been created. 5,500 of these were in the first six months of this year. There are 28,000 less young people in employment since Labour and Fine Gael entered Government. There are currently 374,800 people on the live register.
“Meanwhile our public services have been dismantled.
“There is a crisis in the health service with a dramatic rise in waiting lists over the last nine months.
“There is a housing crisis with high numbers in mortgage arrears, rents rising out of control, a complete lack of social housing and escalating homelessness.
“What is needed is a Budget to deal with these problems. What is needed is a fair and sustainable recovery, not an unequal and temporary recovery - a recovery that leaves no family behind.
“Our proposals prioritise investment in health and education, and they begin the job of dealing with the housing crisis.
“Sinn Féin has always been guided by the principle of equality in our approach to the economy and measures every proposal against its social consequences. I believe we have done so again in this submission.”