Government responsible for two years of austerity – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has accused Fine Gael and Labour of presiding over two years of austerity and of significant hardship for citizens.
Teachta Adams said:
“In 2011 people voted for change. Instead Fine Gael and Labour broke their election promises and implemented Fianna Fáil’s policies.
“The Labour Party promised to protect the people from the most draconian of Fine Gael’s policies yet after two years household incomes are devastated by stealth taxes and cuts to wages.
“Unemployment is at 14.2%. Youth unemployment is 27.7%. Some 87,000 have emigrated in 2011 and that trend has continued.
“Companies are tearing up agreements with workers, arbitrarily paying them off or denying them wages or redundancy payments.
“On Fine Gael and Labour’s watch there have been a succession of savage cuts to wages and incomes and the introduction of new additional stealth taxes, like the household charge and family home tax; water charges; increased VAT; increased motor tax; as well as cuts to child benefit; cuts to home help hours, to the carer’s respite care grant and much more.
“Last week the government again targeted the most vulnerable in our society by scrapping the Mobility Allowance Scheme and the Motorised Transport Grant Scheme.
“Today we learned that the number of households disconnected by gas suppliers jumped by 36% in the third quarter of 2012.
“I believe the Croke Park 2 agreement will exacerbate the austerity driven agenda of this government and that working families – those on low and middle incomes – will be squeezed again. Frontline workers have been especially and unfairly targeted.
“Austerity is not working. It is the disadvantaged and low and middle income families who are bearing the burden – again.
“The leaders of Fine Gael and Labour are in no position to pat themselves on the back. They have implemented two years of austerity policies and caused significant hardship for citizens.”