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Exchequer deficit exposes folly of pre-election auction politics – Ó Caoláin

4 July, 2007

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has said the deficit of €1.4billion in the exchequer for the first half of the year, reported in this morning's papers, highlights the folly of the auction politics that preceded the general election by all the major political parties. Deputy Ó Caoláin went on to describe Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny as hypocritical in his criticism of the Government during leaders Questions this morning given that his party also engaged in the same reckless auction politics prior to the election.

Speaking this morning Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The folly of the auction politics engaged in by all the major political parties before the general election has been exposed for all to see this morning with confirmation of a €1.4billion deficit in the exchequer for the first half of the year. It is now incumbent on the Government to make clear whether their pre-election tax cutting promises still stand. And if they do they must outline how exactly they now propose re-coup the money lost to the exchequer - is it the Government's intention to implement cut backs in public services and social protections in the next Budget in order to proceed with these uncalled for tax cuts?

"Sinn Féin refused to engage in auction politics during the election campaign as we recognised that taking vast sums of money out of the exchequer while proposing increased and improved public services simply would not work. We also, unlike other parties, refused to base our policy proposals on the basis of an optimistic prediction of economic growth and we have now been vindicated in that position.

"Enda Kenny's criticism of the Government this morning smacks of blatant hypocrisy. His party were as guilty as the Fianna Fáil party of engaging in auction politics and had his electoral fortunes been more favourable to him he would have found himself in the very same position as the Taoiseach is now in." ENDS

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