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Crowe - Government must stand up for poorest in society

19 August, 2003


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social and Family Affairs Seán Crowe speaking following the publication of the Watson Wyatt's Top Management Compensation Report for Western Europe said that it shows that "it is time for this Government to stand up to the richest people in Irish society, and stand up for the poorest." The report, shows that the wages of Irish executives will rise 5.8% in 2003, second fastest in Europe.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "In terms of income distribution Ireland is one of the most unequal countries in the EU and OECD. During the lifetime of this Government it has systematically set about widening that gap with its every action.

"In 1987 6.2% of households were below the relative income poverty line. By 2000 this had increased to almost 12% and one third of households were below 60% of the average income.

"This latest report shows that the people profiting from the economic boom are the investors and the executives. The wealth of this nation is produced by workers, not by businessmen and women who often take their profits out of the country. IBEC calls on Irish workers to show wage restraint, but when the executives and top business people get massive pay rises, IBEC's calls for such restraint are conspicuously absent.

"The rapidly rising pay of these executives should also be seen in the context of Government policy, which is to give the largest tax breaks to the richest sections of Irish society.

"Sinn Féin is serious about redistributing the wealth of Ireland and building a country of equals. We are ready to increase taxes for the rich and well-off and use this money to tackle the urgent social problems in this State. It is time for this Government to stand up to the richest people in Irish society, and stand up for the poorest." ENDS

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