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Water charges will cost government gravely at the ballot box – Sandra McLellan TD

5 November, 2014

Sinn Féin Cork East TD Sandra McLellan has today slammed Budget 2015, stating that the government has once again failed those most in need.

Speaking in the Dáil during the Second Stage of the Finance Bill, Deputy McLellan said:

“Before the 2011 General Election, Fine Gael and Labour repeatedly promised a new era of politics. This is clearly not the case.

“Not only did this government carry the mantle of Fianna Fáil and the Green Party’s austerity agenda, but it did so unapologetically and with enthusiasm.

“You are now telling the public that you have led us into a recovery. This too is clearly not the case.

“This so-called recovery has not reached the cash strapped pockets of citizens.

“Try telling the person sleeping on the street in the freezing cold that we are in recovery.

 “Tell it to one of the 9500 children waiting to be assigned a social care worker.

 “Tell it to the woman living in a domestically abusive household with nowhere to go.

 “Tell it to one of 704 elderly citizens lying in hospital beds currently awaiting a home care package or a fair deal scheme.

 “These people are suffering because of your successive budget cuts.

 “Budget 2015 represents another wasted opportunity to truly make a difference to the lives of those who struggle most.

 “The government has a duty and a mandate to protect those who cannot protect themselves. It has failed.

 “While Child Benefit is set to rise €5 a month per child, this only goes some way to reverse the cruel cuts made to child benefit despite Labour’s promises that protecting child benefit was a ‘red line issue’ for them.

 “Does Labour even have red line issues anymore or has the line between them and Fine Gael disappeared completely?

 “Last weekend we saw upwards of a hundred thousand people marching on the streets all across the state in opposition to water charges.

 “Of course, water is already paid for so the new ‘charge’ is merely a doubling up of its cost. The people have spoken on this issue.

 “You failed to scrap these charges in this budget despite the will of the people who elected you.

 “That is another missed opportunity.

 “It is one that will cost this government gravely when the people go from the streets to the ballot box.”

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