SF Alternative Budget prioritises lowering costs and increasing income – Adams

Louth TD Gerry Adams and Cllr Ruairi Ó Murchú this morning launched the party’s Alternative Budget proposals in Dundalk.

Gerry Adams said:

“Sinn Féin’s costed budget proposals are about increasing the income to family homes, and lowering costs to make life affordable again.

Very specifically our wide range of policy proposals aim to end the crises in housing and health.

Sinn Féin is calling for a three-year temporary freeze on rents allied to a temporary tax relief for renters. This tax relief would cover the price of one month’s rent for every renter in the State for a period of three years. At the same time, we would fund an ambitious building programme to ensure that there are affordable and social housing available. This would bring the total number of social houses delivered in 2019 to 10,260.

The cost of childcare is among the highest in Europe and for many families it amounts to a second mortgage. Sinn Féin is proposing an increase to the Affordable Childcare Scheme from 50 cents to €2.5 per hour. This would halve the cost of childcare for young children.

Sinn Féin would increase incomes by raising the minimum wage to €10.50 and implementing an €11.90 living wage across the public sector and civil services.  We would also increase social welfare payments and pensions by €5 and the disability allowance, invalidity pension and blind pension by €9.

We also have an ambitious investment programme for our health service which includes opening 500 beds, recruiting 350 nurses and 150 midwives, and increase respite care services by 20%.

Sinn Féin would lay the foundations for world class public services through increased investment in education, healthcare, disability services and public transport”.

Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú said: “As with all budgets, this budget is about choices.  Sinn Féin chooses to invest the available resources in our public services and infrastructure to help protect us from another economic crash.

Our budget is about a new, modern economy based on fairness, shared prosperity and world-class public services, where we invest in the potential of every citizen and community in the state, and where no one is ever left behind.

Among our priorities we would strengthen rights for workers and ensure that banks and the wealthiest in society pay their fair share of tax.

We would invest in the potential and stability of SMEs and Irish businesses in the face of Brexit and increasing uncertainty.

These are the choices Sinn Féin would make.  Our alternative budget is costed and achievable.”


Sinn Féin’s alternative budget will benefit Louth – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget – Delivering a Fair Economy – which was published on Thursday by the party – presents a real opportunity for the people of Louth.

Teachta Adams said:

“The Sinn Féin alternative budget is fully costed and meets the fiscal rules. It is a comprehensive budget which tackles the crisis in our health service, tackles housing need and homelessness, refuge services, and childcare provision.

“With rural communities fearful of rising crime Sinn Féin would recruit over 1000 new Garda next year to protect local communities.

“On the day we published our alternative budget Our Lady of Lourdes again had the largest trolley numbers in its emergency department in the state which almost doubled by late that night forcing the hospital to call off call temporarily stop taking in patients.

“All of these difficulties are a response to the government’s austerity policies which have seen Garda numbers cut, Garda stations closed and our health service unable to cope with the demands being placed upon it.

“Fine Gael and Labour are wedded to unfair austerity policies. Families and workers in county Louth on average wages, the elderly and young people have paid the cost with unfair taxes, emigration, and wage and welfare cuts. They have also been hit hard by the governments cut to respite care grant, the loss of guidance counsellors in schools, and the imposition of water charges and the family home tax.

“Sinn Féin’s alternative budget offers a different choice – a fair choice. We will put between €600 and €2,000 back into the pockets of the average worker in county Louth, depending on their wage and family circumstances.

“We would do this by abolishing the family home tax, stopping domestic water charges, removing over 100,000 workers across the state out of the USC, expanding access to childcare, reducing the cost of healthcare, increasing the minimum ware and child benefit and assisting with education costs.

“Sinn Féin would prioritise investment in health. In our alternative budget Sinn Féin will prioritise an additional 500 nurses and open further beds across the system, including in Drogheda and Dundalk. We have also provided for additional nursing home beds, home help hours and home care packages all of which will relieve pressure on the emergency departments.

“Our budget will also increase the number of medical cards available to sick and vulnerable citizens and the funding for disability services.

“The Sinn Féin alternative budget would increase funding to build social houses and to tackle the homeless crisis.

“It seeks to ease the burden on the average worker including the self-employed and farmers while asking the top 5% who earn the most to pay their fair share.

“Overall Sinn Féin would invest €1.7bn or twice what the government plans in public expenditure, in prioritising health, education and childcare and delivering more gardaí, nurses, midwives, and teachers. We also propose an ambitious additional capital expenditure programme of €400m

“Sinn Féin wants a recovery that is fair and that benefits all sections of Irish society. Our budget proposals are grounded firmly in the republican principles of fairness and equality for all citizens.

SF Budget pic Oct 2015