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Fine Gael preparing to use Brexit as cover for right wing agenda – Pearse Doherty TD

29 January, 2019 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has today said that Fine Gael are preparing to use the negative economic impact of Brexit as an excuse to pursue an agenda of demonising public sector workers.

The Donegal TD was speaking following the Minister for Finance’s announcement of the assessment of impact on the Irish economy of a no-deal Brexit.

Teachta Doherty said:

“Today the Minister for Finance made it clear that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the predicted growth in employment and continued economic expansion will be slowed.

“Furthermore, the state’s public finances will be impacted in the short term, with next year’s modest government surplus now predicted to be in deficit.

“But the government has surely known for some time that a no-deal or disorderly Brexit was on the cards. Research dating back months has pointed to significant threats to the agri-foods sector and domestic manufacturers in particular.

“Yet in their most recent Budget, Fine Gael took to prolonging tax breaks to booming multinationals and Irish banks, and creating new ones for landlords already collecting historic levels of rent.

“This does nothing to shore up our public finances, and it does nothing to reach out to support already struggling indigenous manufacturers and exporters across our island.

“Shortly before Minister Donohue published his assessment, the Taoiseach justified his refusal to pay striking Irish nurses fairly by saying Brexit poses a threat to state finances.

“Brexit is fast becoming another Fine Gael excuse to treat Irish workers with contempt, and to take the side of banks and the wealthiest in society when so many are in need of government support.

“Any responsible government would have taken decisive action long ago to protect vulnerable sectors from a no-deal Brexit. 

“Indeed, no government worth its name can continue to hand out hundreds of millions of euros in tax breaks to the wealthiest in society, while using Brexit as an excuse to underpay nurses and leave key Irish industries behind.

"At the very least, Fine Gael must keep open the option to return to Budget 2019 and make the changes necessary to protect the interests of Irish citizens.

"This must also include serious negotiations with the EU, which should have been conducted long ago, to see what support the state can offer our key domestic sectors in extraordinary times to come."

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