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Stagg’s comments represent Labour’s move away from social justice – Reilly

9 July, 2015 - by Kathryn Reilly


Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly stated that it was incredible that the Labour Party TD Emmet Stagg could publically support and vote for the government’s cuts to the lone parents allowance, while privately opposing the measure in his correspondences with his constituents.

Senator Reilly said:

“Any person with an ounce of compassion and a sense of social justice is opposed to these cuts. It is for this reason that I am in no way surprised that there are Labour Party TDs who are opposed to the decision to cut the lone parents allowance.

“I have previously stated that I failed to see how these cuts would help lone parents back to work, and I now see that Deputy Stagg agrees with me. He stated that he failed to ‘see how cutting the income of the very ones who are making a real effort to improve the lot of their families and themselves helps in some way to get out of the poverty trap’.

“However, what is astonishing here is the level of duplicity on the issue. Deputy Stagg wants to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. He publically supported and voted for the government’s cuts to the lone parents allowance, while privately opposing the measure in correspondence with his constituents. Furthermore, he voted against a Sinn Fein Private Members Business Motion calling on the government not to proceed with the cuts to lone parents allowance in the absence of adequate childcare provision.

“The people of Ireland know that these are heinous and unjustifiable cuts; they are another cruel austerity measure by Fine Gael and Labour. If Deputy Stagg and this government are concerned about helping single parents back to work then they should focus on providing better access to affordable full-time childcare, rather than systematically attacking lone parents.” 

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