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Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil only pay lip service to creating a fairer Ireland - Senator Kathryn Reilly

23 February, 2016 - by Kathryn Reilly


Speaking this afternoon Sinn Féin’s Kathryn Reilly has said that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil don’t have the commitment to create a fairer Ireland and they only pay lip service to equality.

Senator Reilly said:

“Despite the posturing of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over the election campaign, the reality is that they don’t want to address fundamental issues of inequality and create a fairer Ireland. An example of why this is the case can be found in the current homelessness crisis and the housing crisis in general. 

“This crisis was caused by the policies of these parties. Neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fail have the appetite to resolve the housing crisis, nor do they have the appetite to resolve other issues of inequality.

“Fianna Fáil saunter around pontificating about fairness, but there wasn’t too much fairness when Brendan Smith and his colleagues cut the minimum wage by a euro, when they slashed tax credits, and when they cut Jobseekers Allowance for young people. 

“Nor was there wasn’t much fairness when they cut child benefit, abolished the Christmas bonus, introduced the USC, and there certainly wasn’t much fairness when they protected bankers, developers, and bondholders ahead of the ordinary Irish people.

“Fine Gael talk about a recovery and their party leader complains about ‘whingers’ who say that they don’t feel a recovery.  I wonder does Joe O’Reilly think the same about the people of Cavan as Enda thinks of the people of Castlebar.

“Fine Gael speak of a recovery as if the people of Cavan have forgotten the level of pain and suffering austerity brought. They also talk about standing up for Ireland, but we have suffered five years of their efforts to stand up for Ireland, and it has been complete chaos. 

“When did they stand up for people on trollies in our hospitals, where did they stand up for those who are homeless? When did they stand up for those who have had their homes repossessed, when did they stand up for those families who have lost loved ones to emigration? When did they stand up for farmers in the face of beef and dairy producers?

“Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have no interest in fairness or standing up for the Irish people. If past performance is an indicator of future performance then Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in government will preside over further inequality.

“Sinn Féin wants to see equality in all areas; we want to see equality in housing, equality in healthcare, equality in childcare, equality in education, equality economically and socially. Sinn Féin is committed to ending inequality and creating an Ireland of equals, and if given a mandate by the Irish people then we will deliver on this commitment.”

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