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“Budget does nothing to ensure the recovery of Rural Communities” – Carthy

16 October, 2014 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Speaking in relation to Budget 2015 Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency Matt Carthy said:

“Budget 2015 could have been delivered by Fianna Fáil.  It clearly demonstrated that this government have learned nothing from the past number of years of austerity or the reasons we ended up with a crashed economy in the first place.  Worse still, the budget udget lacked the ambition and the vision required to ensure that the economic recovery spreads to each and every town across the country.

“It demonstrated that Fine Gael and Labour are using the same failed approach to the economic recovery as they used to the recession.

“They are locked into the failed policy of privilege and have again introduced a Budget which rewards higher earners more disproportionately than those on lower incomes.

“Rural towns and villages across this state have been decimated over the past number of years as cut after cut in the income of ordinary people has led to the closure of businesses and shops.

“Although some changes to the agriculture budget to encourage young farmers to come in to the sector are welcome, we have seen no positive moves in relation to Farm Assist or to replace REPS payments.

“There has also been inadequate funding set aside to ensure that the 30,000 farmers who enter GLAS in 2015 will receive their full payments next year.

“We have seen nothing to reverse the decline in rural populations and putting an end to emigration.

“Nothing has been done to reverse the cuts to teachers in rural schools.

“The tax reliefs on water charges discriminate against people on group water schemes and those living in rural areas.

“Nothing has been announced to specifically address the challenges faced by small businesses or to address the consistent lack of investment in crucial infrastructure and broadband across the state.

“On top of this, people in peripheral areas in the west and north west have lower incomes and will gain much less from the changes to the tax and USC regimes than others.

“Sinn Féin's alternative budget would have put more money in the pockets of these people, provided more funding to Gaeltacht and rural communities and would have gone further to eliminate poverty and emigration which is the scourge of rural communities nationwide.”

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