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Children once again prioritised in SF Budget Priorities 2006

24 November, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has announced that Sinn Féin “have made a conscious decision to again prioritise those most in need in our society –children.” Ms. McDonald made her comments at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Budget Priorities 2006 document ‘Putting Children First – Time for Government to Deliver’ in Dublin today.

She said, “For the past year there has been a national debate on the need for this society to care better for our children. This debate has arisen largely due to the intense pressure placed on parents and children and family life in an economy with high demand for labour from employers.

“This time last year, recognising the importance of this issue, Sinn Féin published its priorities for Budget 2005 entitled ‘Putting Children First’. In doing so we consulted widely within the childcare sector. One year later the Labour Party published its childcare proposals using the same title. Imitation is the best form of flattery as the say.

“Over a year ago Sinn Féin consciously made childcare a central theme of our political deliberations. We did so because we understood the importance of this issue for many, many people. 

“Our Dáil team tabled a motion last November calling for the development of a comprehensive and accessible childcare infrastructure.

“Tens of thousands of leaflets have been delivered throughout the country outlining our position and challenging the Government over its failure to deliver, and, in April this year we organised a conference on Childcare in Europe hosted by myself in Ballymun and under the auspices of Sinn Féin’s EU Parliamentary Group GUE/NGL. We heard guest speakers from Finland and Italy describe best practice in childcare in other EU countries.

“We realise that the Fianna Fáil/PD Government and other opposition parties have finally recognised the importance of the issue but progressive policies are still not being implemented. Therefore this year we have made a conscious decision to again prioritise those most in need in our society –children” ENDS

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