Brian Stanley TD – the impact of austerity on the ground - Ard Fheis 2012
Comrades and friends, Sinn Fein is committed to building a new republic. A republic that cherishes all children of the nation equally, north south east and west. Our view is that there is enough wealth being generated in this country to ensure cradle to the grave health care, education, jobs and housing. No child hungry, no patients untreated and no prefabs for class rooms. Is this achievable? Can we deliver it? Yes we can!
But not with the current government policies based on austerity and inequality. Austerity is not a victimless crime. Austerity means less SNAs, it means attacks on lone parents, it means forced emigration it means communities losing essential services, patients waiting on hospital trollies. All this is a result of the bankrupt failed policies of Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour. Fine Gael and Labour the parties who promised much and have only delivered heartache, pain and cuts.
It does not have to be Eamonn’s way or Enda’s way. Unlike the government our economic policies are solution based. Our economic policies are costed and aim to deliver jobs, growth and economic stability. We believe that we cannot cut our way out of this recession. It is only by implementing the right policies will we bring growth back to our economy. And growth will only happen if we invest in jobs and training instead of using it to bail out the toxic banks.
Sinn Féin proposes a €7 billion investment package in job creation and economic growth over 3 years. Department of Finance estimates that for every €1 billion invested in jobs you get an employment return of between 8,000 and 12,000 direct jobs.
We would fund this from the remaining €5.3 billion in the National Pension Reserve Fund and €1.7 billion in funding from the European Investment Bank. Our total investment should see an average of 60,000 jobs created directly, with thousands more indirectly; and anything up to 96,000 jobs saved.
Our proposals would contribute to developing a sustainable, performing economy. Investment in infrastructure not only benefits job creation in the immediate term. It has benefits for society in the long term.
A childcare system which caters for parents seeking to return to the workplace; an education system that allows for smaller class numbers and fosters young potential; a green energy system that provides for energy needs cheaply and efficiently; and a broadband service that meets the needs of modern Irish business. This is what our proposals will provide as well as creating jobs.
Our tax proposals would take approximately 500,000 people out of the tax net while raising €3.62 billion through a progressive fairer tax system.
Sinn Féin would ensure that those on salaries of over €100, 000 would pay more, tax loop holes closed and introduction of a wealth tax.
Our objective is to get people back to work, improve services and create just equal society for all.
All this is achievable. Together we must do it.