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Budget mollycoddles and rewards the wealthy: Crowe

10 December, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Speaking about this week’s budget, Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe said:
“This is a budget of broken promises that has taken €3.8 billion out of the economy. The majority of cuts have targeted the vulnerable with most of the money saved being used to service the unsustainable debt resulting from bad government policies and bailing out the banks.
“The government has succeeded in ripping the guts out of the local economy. Cuts to child benefit, to disability allowances, back to school grants, health care, fuel allowance, drugs taskforces and community employment schemes are all evidence of that.
“The cut of €543 million from the health services will devastate healthcare provision and make patients suffer. It will deepen the crisis at Tallaght Hospital and result in additional closures of residential homes such as St Brigid’s.
“The increase in the threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme from €120 to €132 imposes another burden on the sick and their families.
The reduction in Child Benefit for third and subsequent children is a further attack on families struggling to manage on the bare essentials.
The abolition of the back-to-school clothing and footwear allowance for two and three year old pre-schoolers is another roll back on the coalition’s supposed commitment to the children of low income families.
“Ordinary citizens are being asked to dig deeper and the cuts are manifesting themselves in areas of society that need supports the most
Increasing the student contribution fee by €250 will make it more difficult to attend further education and continue the slide towards making it the preserve of a smaller elite.
“The subtext of the budget is that working families low and middle incomes who voted for change are seeing the same polices of the previous administration being implemented in order to mollycoddle and reward the wealthy and powerful elite who created the crisis we have to endure.” ENDS

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