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New austerity measures as much Fianna Fáil’s shame as Fine Gael’s – Cullinane

31 May, 2016 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Public Expenditure and Reform David Cullinane has said that the Government spin before and since the election on keeping the recovery going is becoming ever more insulting as they prepare to implement more austerity measures on households already bearing the brunt of the past five years.

Deputy Cullinane said Fianna Fáil were as culpable as Fine Gael due to their decision to prop up the minority government, regardless of the cost to the Irish people.

The Waterford TD said:

“Fine Gael lost their mandate in the election, but Fianna Fáil saw fit to prop up the minority government in an effort to control both government and opposition. In my eyes, they are as culpable for all of the new austerity measures that the government are preparing as Fine Gael themselves. They are pursuing their own agenda, regardless of the cost to the Irish people.

“It is clear from the Ministerial briefings of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that there is no intention of deviating from the austerity policies of the previous government, despite the rejection of those policies by the majority of the electorate.

“The new playbook reads very much the same as the last. The proposed measures, which include; scrapping the Half-Rate Carer’s Allowance for new entrants, introducing a type of pathway to work scheme on a par with the discredited one in Britain, raising the student contribution fees to €4,000, and talk of phasing out the Back to Education Allowance and Community Employment, all smacks of the previous government’s slash and burn tactics in public services and social welfare that caused so much harm and hurt in the past.

“We are faced with more of the same, despite Fine Gael being punished by the people. They may smile and say the recovery is well on track, but there is no difference in their approach to reckless cuts and callous withdrawal of services.  Fianna Fáil should look hard at the price of their agenda.” 

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