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Sinn Féin won’t take lectures from Brendan Smith - Senator Kathryn Reilly

14 February, 2016

Speaking this afternoon, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly has stated that Sinn Féin are standing shoulder to shoulder with working families and said that Brendan Smith’s comments to the contrary are untrue and bordering on laughable.

Senator Reilly said:

“Sinn Féin are committed to standing up for low and middle income earners. These workers have suffered the most since Brendan Smith and his colleagues in Fianna Fáil destroyed the Irish economy and they also bore the brunt of the austerity policies of Fine Gael and Labour.

“Sinn Féin’s proposals to help workers are manifold. We are committed to abolishing water charges, we will abolish the property tax, we will remove 277,000 workers from the USC, we will phase out college fees, we will introduce free GP care starting with those on lower incomes, we will ease the tax burden on the self- employed, moving towards the equalisation of the Self-Employed Tax Credit with the PAYE Tax Credit. 

“We will also remove prescription charges, we will abolish the A&E attendance fee, we will increase the minimum wage by 50c moving towards a Living Wage thereafter, we will make the public sector a living wage employer, these are just a short few of the policies we intend on implementing if in Government.

“There is an innate hypocrisy in Brendan Smith criticising Sinn Fein’s USC policies given that he was an integral part of the Government that was responsible for bringing in the charge.

“Furthermore, Brendan Smith sat at the table as a Minister in a Government that cut the minimum wage, that cut Job Seekers Allowance for young people, that abolished the Christmas Bonus, that cut child benefit across the board, and many other draconian cuts.

“Neither I nor Sinn Fein will be taking lectures from Brendan Smith, a former Senior Government Minister who was centrally involved in an administration that destroyed the Irish economy and irreparably damaged Irish society.”

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