Funding health service from volatile corporation tax receipts "would make McCreevy blush" - Louise O'Reilly TD
Speaking this afternoon Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said that she has never been more concerned for the future of the health service than when this afternoon’s budget was announced.
The Dublin Fingal TD said that the government are using unexpected and unreliable corporation tax receipts to fund health in 2019.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The health service is our most important public service; however, for some time now in budget after budget we’ve witnessed the systematic under funding of this service.
“This budget offered the opportunity to set out a sustainable and credible funding path for health to address capacity issues, to address the recruitment and retention crisis, to address funding shortages, and deliver a sustainable delivery plan for Sláintecare.
“Instead, what we got was financial chicanery and voodoo economics that would make Charlie McCreevy blush.
“Fine Gael, with the support of Fianna Fáil, used unexpected and unreliable corporation tax receipts for a quick, short term fix for the health budget.
“They have done this on the back of a corporation tax bonanza announced during the weekend.
“They have blindsided the opposition and the public, and responded to their chronic underfunding of health by throwing volatile multinational tax receipts at our hospitals and our primary care centres instead of putting them onto a sustainable footing with sustainable funding.
“The short-termism of funding a health service of a once off corporation tax windfall is not just deceptive, but extremely dangerous.
“We have been here before under Finna Fáil governments - short term populism through volatile revenue.
“Furthermore, the budget has done nothing to address the capacity issues affecting the health service or to address the recruitment and retention crisis among nurses and doctors.
“Instead of investing in the public health system they announced new funding for the NTPF to siphon public monies to private healthcare in order to line the pockets of private healthcare.
“Our health service needs real investment, sustainable investment into the future but, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have not done this today.
“They have used volatile corporation tax receipts to fund current expenditure in health, they have used the health service as an election tool, and they have put it at risk in the coming years because this funding is not sustainable.
“In our Alternative Budget Sinn Féin showed that you could pay off the health ‘overspend’ and fund the health service to address the myriad of crises and deliver additional new services all the while making sure it was done in a sustainable and fair way. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil chose the opposite.”