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Level of poverty inexcusable in affluent Irish economy of 21st century

24 November, 2005


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has said the level of poverty in Ireland is “inexcusable given the affluent Irish economy of the 21st century.” Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Budget Priorities 2006 document ‘Putting Children First – Time for Government to Deliver’ in Dublin today he said “very modest attempts” by the Fianna Fáil / Progressive Democrat Coalition to rectify inequality in the last couple of budgets was “a direct response to the challenges they faced at recent elections – not least the challenge posed by Sinn Féin.”

Mr. Adams said, “The level of inequality and consistent poverty in this part of Ireland today is testament to the fundamentally flawed approach of the over their eight and a half years in office.

“Yes, they may have made some very modest attempts to rectify that inequality in the last couple of budgets. This was a direct response to the challenges they faced at recent elections – not least the challenge posed by Sinn Féin.

“Indeed it has been somewhat amusing to see the steady stream of republicans and socialists emanating for the Government parties over the last couple of months.

“However, for Sinn Féin the real test is not rhetoric but the putting into effect of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.  It means “cherishing all the children of the nation equally” in practice. 

“But it is clear that the Fianna Fáil / Progressive Democrats government has failed that test.

“Numerous studies have shown that despite the unprecedented economic growth that this State has benefited from over the last decade that far too many people are still living in poverty.  Those studies show that one in seven children, (or 150,000), live in consistent poverty and a further 242,000 children are at risk of poverty.

“This level of poverty is inexcusable given the affluent Irish economy of the 21st century.  Record budget surpluses have been achieved year after year, yet the opportunity to move towards an Ireland of Equals has been squandered.” ENDS

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