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Government protecting wealthy, privileged and ‘insiders’ - Adams

29 April, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

 Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has said yesterday’s Spring Economic Statement had nothing new to say to people who have suffered years of brutal austerity policies.

 Speaking in the Dáil today, Teachta Adams said:

 “It is clear from the outline provided yesterday that the Government wants the next general election campaign to be reduced to auction politics with various parties seeking to outbid each other in terms of tax cuts.

“This will do nothing to address the serious needs of our society. It will not do anything to re-build our battered public services, to tackle the scandal of hospital overcrowding, or to build affordable childcare provision.

“This Fine Gael/Labour Government is all about protecting the wealthy, the privileged and the ‘insiders’. It offers nothing but hardship for the vast majority of families, workers and vulnerable citizens.”

Mr Adams said the failure of the Labour Party in Government has been stark:“We know that Fine Gael governs primarily in the interests of the privileged and of the elites. But Labour continually tells us that they are there to put the brakes on Fine Gael; that things would be far worse without them.

“However, the evidence tells us the opposite. Let’s not forget that Labour Party leader Joan Burton helped negotiate the Programme for Government. That programme saw Labour buy into the austerity policies of Fine Gael and deliberately break its election promises.”

 He said Government policies had increasingly polarised society:

 “The richest 250 people in Ireland are worth a combined €75.03 billion and have seen their wealth increase by 15.9 per cent in the last year. Meanwhile, homeless people are dying on our streets, families are being evicted from their homes, children are going to school hungry and workers are being forced to sleep in their cars”.

Sinn Féin, Mr Adams said, believed in “putting the interests of citizens, as opposed to the rich and powerful, at the centre of political considerations.” It would seek to relieve the burden on struggling householders by abolishing Water Charges and the Family Home Tax and rebuild our public services.
He said:

 “Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour all claim there is no alternative to austerity while Sinn Féin has consistently argued that there is. 

“Yesterday was all about promises. It was an abuse of the Dáil for the purposes of party political propaganda. But citizens who have felt the brunt of Fine Geal and Labour in Government will not be fooled by more empty rhetoric.

“What is required now is a radical change of political direction. Citizens need a fair recovery, a recovery for all, a recovery that leaves no family behind.

“This is not on the agenda of this Fine Gael-led administration. This Government prefers ‘giveaways’ for the wealthy and the privileged and tax cuts for the better off. This merely repeats the disastrous policies of your Fianna Fáil predecessors.

“We need to ask what kind of a society we will be left with after another year of this Government. What type of country do we want to live in?

 “As we approach the Centenary of the 1916 Rising, do we want another period of austerity for low and middle income families while the wealthy remain untouchable?

 “Do we want an economy built on property bubbles and where, when banks fail, the people have to foot the bill? Or do we want a real republic based on equality?”

Mr Adams said the Sinn Féin alternative of reducing the tax burden on low and middle income families, protecting public services, and investing in jobs are the ingredients of a genuine recovery – a recovery for all.

“It is clearer now than ever that a fair recovery requires a change of government. Fine Gael and Labour have long since lost the mandate on which they were elected. Rather than yesterday's PR exercise, you should put your policies to the people and call a General Election now”. 

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