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Time for new, progressive politics - McDonald

15 February, 2016 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader, Mary Lou McDonald TD has said it is time for new, progressive politics in Ireland.

Deputy McDonald has criticised the Labour Party’s record in government, highlighting the litany of broken electoral promises in their wake and putting forward Sinn Féin’s vision backed by credible and costed policies, as a real alternative. 

Deputy McDonald said:

“The Labour Party have no substance. They betrayed their founding principles as they rolled over to Fine Gael and lost all credibility. Whatever promises they make now is too late - they have lost the trust of the electorate. 

“Sinn Féin won’t be a mudguard like Labour - propping up a conservative government and a Tory agenda, favouring the wealthy in society. We believe in equality and will not compromise the cornerstones of democracy in order to blag our way into government.

“It is time for new, progressive politics in Ireland and Sinn Féin is leading the charge to lead a new government under the Rigth2Change Principles.  We have outlined our vision back by clear, comprehensive, costed and deliverable policies.

“The list of broken Labour promises is so long, I don’t know where to begin. Five years ago they promised to oppose the water charges. Lo and behold, the water tax was introduced and hundreds of millions wasted on unused meters and consultants fees.

“The Labour party promised to protect child benefit. This, they cut multiple times. They cut lone parent allowance, the telephone allowance for older people, fuel allowance the bereavement grant. They taxed illness benefit and maternity benefit. 

“The Labour Party promised not to increase third level fees – they increased them from €2,000 to €3,000. They cut the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance three budgets in a row. They cut capitation grants for schools. They cut supports for children with special needs. 

“The Labour Party promised to end cronyism. Instead they broke the pay cap for their special advisors and nominated key party people, like David Begg, to State Board positions, flouting normal procedures and absolutely contradicting their manifesto. So much for transparency and a democratic revolution. 

“The Labour party also cut key social supports - slashed job seekers allowance and forced hundreds of thousands of young people to leave the country.

“The Labour Party are once again bending over backwards trying to win votes on promises that they will not honour. Their track record in the past speaks for itself. Sinn Féin will not make promises we cannot keep and we will deliver on the promises that we have made.” 

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