Fianna Fáil criticised for supporting government without mental health funding commitments
Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has criticised Fianna Fáil for their support for the government in the absence of adequate mental health funding commitments.
He described recent statement by Fianna Fáil criticising under funding of mental health services as "talking out of two sides of their mouths" noting the continued support of the party for the Fine Gael government who refused to significantly increase mental health funding at the last budget.
Deputy Buckley said;
"The criticisms from Fianna Fáil are not credible at all when you consider that that party continues to support the government and did so last year when it supported a budget which did nothing to improve mental health services.
“They are quite clearly talking out of two sides of their mouths when they criticise government policies that they have continuously supported since entering into a coalition government in all but name with Fine Gael.
“Last year they opposed my motion to commit the government to a significant increase in funding instead voting for budget which gave just a 1.8% increase. They also supported the government in opposing my motion for a timeline for delivery of life saving out of hours services for people in mental health distress.
“Fianna Fáil must stop playing both sides and be a persuader for mental health investment. They need to start working with Sinn Féin and others to challenge the government effectively.
“Budget 2018 is looming and there are no signs that Fine Gael intends to increase funding for mental health in a meaningful way. Fianna Fáil needs to be putting pressure on them to ensure proper funding.
“If Budget 2018 is another bad day for mental health it will be Fianna Fáil to blame.”