Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Smyth calls on PD President to stop the name calling and engage in real debate

2 November, 2004

Speaking at a Trinity College Young Progressive Democrat debate on Sinn Féin economic policies, Sinn Féin General Secretary Robbie Smyth called on PD President Michael McDowell to "stop the name calling, respect Sinn Fein's electoral mandate and debate fairly with the party on the important economic issues of the day."

Mr. Smyth said:

"The McDowell/Harney smokescreen of name calling and vilification will not help cover up the failures of the coalition government. There is a gaping divide between the economic policies of our two parties. The PDs are only focused on an economy that delivers wealth for the few. They and Fianna Fail have failed to deliver on housing, healthcare, tax reform and efficient government.

What they have delivered is a free for all for property developers who earn in Ireland an extortionate profitability unmatched in the industrialised world. At the same time they have year on year failed to build an adequate number of public sector houses and not met their pre-election commitments to set a target for eliminating housing waiting lists.

Their solution to healthcare is more privatisation and a two tier service with the greater number of people condemned to suffer sub standard services.

Tax reform has been replaced by tax breaks for the rich friends of this government who have left the low paid in the tax net, contradicting a 1997 promise to the voters, and the greater number of PAYE workers ever on the 42% tax rate.

Worst still is that the very same PDs who make accusations at Sinn Féin of being not capable of efficient government have stood by while the LUAS, Dublin‚s Port Tunnel and other key infrastructural projects have racked up cost overruns amounting to hundreds of millions of euro.

"Sinn Féin wants an economy where everyone has not just a job, but a well paid one and a society with decent healthcare, childcare facilities, public transport, education and housing. Is this too much to ask? It seems to be for the Progressive Democrats."ENDS

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