Government can still make the right choices in this budget: Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, launching the party’s alternative budget in Dublin today, said the government can still make the right choices in the upcoming budget to protect families, frontline services and jobs.
The Louth TD said after five gruelling austerity budgets, the government could increase taxation on those who can afford to give more, while making savings in public spending through targeting waste and high pay - not by cutting health, education and welfare.
Deputy Adams said:
“Today Sinn Féin launches our alternative budget ‘Making the right choices’.
This is one of three documents the party is producing that deal with the crisis in the economy.
“In October we presented a comprehensive jobs plan that concentrated on bringing growth and employment back into the economy.
“Early next year we will launch proposals on the banking sector, including curtailing bankers’s pay and getting the banks lending again.
“Today we are launching our alternative budget which shows how the deficit can be reduced in a fair and effective way.
“After five gruelling austerity budgets by this and the previous government citizens have had enough.
“December’s budget plans to take €3.5 billion out of the economy, including almost one billion euro and almost 4,000 jobs out of the Health Service.
“This is on top of a succession of harsh cuts to public services and a range of stealth taxes introduced in the last 20 months by Fine Gael and Labour.
“Many of those low and middle income households who in the past would not have regarded themselves as economically vulnerable, now have mortgage repayments they can’t meet, are in negative equity and face increasing indebtedness.
“The Director of Older & Bolder Patricia Conboy, warned that the government’s cuts “will devastate the prospect of safe and healthy ageing at home. They actually contradict government policy of supporting people to age safely at home.”
“And a recent report revealed that 10% of households suffer from food poverty.
“That means adults and children do not have enough food to eat.
“There are alternatives choices to those being made by the government.
“Fine Gael and Labour don’t have to implement Fianna Fáil policy.
“They could increase taxation on those who can afford to give more, while making savings in public spending through targeting waste and high pay - not by cutting health, education and welfare.
“There is still time, if they had the political will, for the government to make the right choices in this budget to protect families, frontline services and jobs.
“Sinn Féin has produced detailed, costed budget submissions in every year since this crisis began.
“We are pleased that the government has adopted some of our policies.
“For example, among other issues, they are now calling for a separation of sovereign and banking debt.
“Sinn Féin will send this alternative budget to the Taoiseach, the Tanaiste and the Minister for Finance.
“If they are looking for ways to produce a fair budget the Sinn Féin proposals and our alternative budget can be their guide.