Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Failure to end child poverty is a scandal

15 November, 2004


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking at the publication of the party‚s priorities for Budget 2005 said "in terms of Budget 2005, Sinn Féin is today focusing on the needs of children. It is a scandal that in the Ireland of 2004 we still talking about child poverty. In many communities, North and South, it is an acute problem. In this document we set out basic rights and entitlements - the right to a decent income, the right to proper healthcare, the right of access to education and to childcare."

Mr. Adams said:

"The Equality agenda is the cornerstone of Sinn Féin policies. Following our success in the local and European election campaigns earlier this year the equality agenda is becoming the primary focus of a growing section of our people.

"In response there has been the usual ill-informed and deliberately misleading comments and scaremongering tactics from various Ministers and backbenchers in an attempt to frighten people away from supporting Sinn Féin and our agenda for equality. These tactics failed before the election and they will fail now.

"People are not stupid. They can see and feel, on a daily basis, the inequalities that are so pervasive in Irish society today. And they want them reversed.

"However, despite Government posturing in relation to Sinn Féin, we have also had the spectacle, since the elections, of both Fianna Fáil and the PDs clamouring to present themselves as a more Œcaring and sharing‚ kind of Government. Why is that? Well, it‚s their contradictory response to our recent election successes.

"But, let me say, if they modify some of their policies or bring in progressive measures, then we welcome that as positive political progress.

"In pursuing the equality agenda there is an obvious starting point. Everybody needs and deserves a good, quality start in life. If every child was guaranteed as a right, as was envisaged in the 1916 Proclamation, access to quality food, shelter, education and healthcare and to an equal stake in society then many of the problems that afflict marginalised communities would vanish.

"That is why, in terms of Budget 2005, Sinn Féin is today focusing on the needs of children. It is a scandal that in the Ireland of 2004 we still talking about child poverty. In many communities, North and South, it is an acute problem.

"In this document we set out basic rights and entitlements - the right to a decent income, the right to proper healthcare, the right of access to education and to childcare." ENDS

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