Ideological and tactical Budget games will deepen crises in housing and health - Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the reports of a tactical shadow boxing contest between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael over who can spend less in the Budget will worsen the social crises in health and housing.
The Donegal TD said the fiscal rules are a conservative indicator of what should be spent and anybody justifying spending less must explain why health and housing must wait.
Deputy Doherty said:
“I am shocked at the report of political shadow boxing between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil over the Budget.
It’s as if neither parties realise the country is experiencing crises in our housing and health services. They have created an appalling environment in which they are now arguing about who can spend less at a time when investment is urgently needed.
"Sinn Féin are clear - we should use the maximum space allowed under the Fiscal Rules to tackle the social crises in housing and public services, while investing in citizens and infrastructure to secure stable growth in the time ahead. Any other approach is irresponsible and ideologically driven.
"The result of continued inaction will be to prolong and deepen the already severe crises they have imposed on the Irish people.
"For Fine Gael and Fianna Fail it seems these crises are now normal, and are comfortable looking on as thousands of our citizens remain without a home. In the coming Budget, their message to the Irish people is 'get used to it'.
"While overheating is a serious concern, there are many ways to deal with it. Further cuts in spending when faced with social crises will only stifle our potential for long-term, stable growth.
"The Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil solution is the so-called 'Rainy Day Fund', an excuse to squirrel away urgent investment while setting Ireland on the road to a divisive, Tory-style economy where spending is eternally reduced, creating crisis after crisis until they are ignored and normalised.
"Sinn Féin's alternative is clear. We will bring the housing crises to an end, tackling homelessness and fixing our health system.
"We will invest in our infrastructure and in Irish business to stabilise our public finances and secure long-term growth as the best answer to possible overheating.”