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Alternative Budget

Over the last decade people have been pushed to the limit as a result of the Government’s austerity policy. While things are undoubtedly getting better for some, for the vast majority little has changed in their day-to-day lives. The Government is merely offering more of the same and unless there is a dramatic change, the impact of the cuts will be felt for years to come.

The reality is that despite the economic crisis, the wealthiest in society have become richer.

This is a policy, not an accident.

So, while 250 individuals saw their combined wealth increase by 16% to €75 billion in the last twelve months, the reality for the average family continues to be lower income as a result of wage cuts, the USC, water charges and property tax. This is on top of the high cost of childcare, health care, housing, education and other necessities. It is these families who need to be supported in Budget 2016.

When they got into Government, Fine Gael and Labour threw their election manifestos in the bin and instead implemented Fianna Fáil’s economic plan. Their cynical move has prolonged the recession, forced half a million people to emigrate and destroyed core elements of our public services.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the health service. Enda Kenny and Joan Burton can cry crocodile tears and talk about a crisis in the health service, but what is happening is not some unforeseen disaster. It is the outworking of Government policy.

You cannot take 9,255 whole time equivalent staff out of the public health system in four and a half years without an impact. The reason that an elderly cancer patient spent five days on a trolley at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in drogheda last month is because of Government policy and if we want things as shameful as this to stop happening we need to change Government policy. Investment in core public services needs to be urgently prioritised.

The Government’s plan for a 50:50 split between spending and tax cuts isn’t the answer. It’s an electoral ploy. The Sinn Féin plan is based on ‘delivering a Fair Recovery’ and in it we have four key priorities:

  • Fair taxation – this means easing the tax burden on the average worker, including those who are self-employed and asking those who earn the most to pay their fair share.
  • An investment of over €1.7 billion in public expenditure – this means 1,000 more Gardaí, an additional 1,000 frontline posts in health to include nurses, midwives and consultants and more than 1,700 teachers.
  • Ambitious capital spend programme of €400 million.
  • Promoting the all-Ireland economy.

Please click here to download our policy .pdf