Sinn Féin Alternative Budget 2020 gives families and workers a break

Sinn Féin has this week published its Alternative Budget 2020, with Louth TD Imelda Munster saying ‘it’s time to end the rip-off and give local families and workers a break’.

The party’s alternative budget proposals include a provision for two free GP visits for every person without a medical card, a rent freeze and a relief worth one month’s rent, free travel on public transport for five to eighteen-year-olds and a reduction in the cost of childcare by an average of €100 a month per child.

Deputy Munster said: ‘The upcoming budget needs to do two things: end the rip off and give workers and families a break and secure Ireland’s future if there is a crash out Brexit.  

‘There is something seriously wrong when the vast majority of people have less money in their pockets now than they did when Fine Gael, supported by Fianna Fáil, came into power three years ago.  

‘The reasons for this are obvious – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are making bad, short term decisions that are costing the taxpayer billions and they are failing to intervene to deal with out of control costs in childcare, rents and essential household bills like insurance and mortgage interest payments.

‘The consequence is that insurance companies, banks and landlords are making billions while workers and families are being ripped off’.

The Drogheda TD says her party’s Alternative Budget offers ‘clear, realisable solutions to the impossible living costs faced by countless families – sky-high insurance premiums, extortionate rents, and eye-watering childcare costs. Together, these ensure that Ireland’s cost of living is among the most unaffordable in the developed world.

 

‘The budget cannot be just about survival, it must be about ensuring people can have a decent life and enjoy their time with family and friends’.

The Alternative Budget from Sinn Féin includes

  • Helping renters by introducing an emergency freeze on rents and bringing in rent relief which would save them the equivalent of one month’s rent each year.
  • Help families by reducing the cost of childcare by an average of €100 a month per child.
  • Provide two free GP visits for every person without a medical card – so nobody delays going to the doctor because they are worried about the cost.
  • Ensure there is No carbon tax increase in Budget 2020.
  • End the insurance rip-off – first we’re going after the government take and then we are coming after the industry.
  • Invest an additional €300 million to give people with disabilities and their families a break.
  • Introduce free travel for 5 to 18-year-olds on public transport.

Back To School Costs are A Burden: Eugene Garvey

Activist Eugene Garvey (Left) with Cllr Ruairi Ó Murchú and other activists

Dundalk Sinn Féin took to the streets today in along with Cllr Ruairi Ó Murchú to highlight ‘Back to School’ costs.

Local activist Eugene Garvey, a father of two, said “Education is a fundamental right for everyone and should be free and accessible to all but the current cost is an ever increasing burden on ordinary families with costs running at an all-time high.”

It is estimated that over 20% of parents need to take out loans to pay for their children’s school essentials.

Eugene Garvey pointed out that “the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is a great help but falls short of what parents need. Sinn Féin is proposing an extra €50 to this grant which would help. We also need to look at expanding the Book Rental Scheme to ensure that all schools participate in it and help alleviate the burden on families.”

Currently only 65% of schools use a Book Rental Scheme.

On average schools get state funding of around €46,000 a year for operating costs, however, average bills actually total €91,000.

Eugene Garvey said “The shortfall of the school state funding has to be found be it in the form of fundraising throughout the school year or having to contribute directly to the school, and this is on top of the cost of sending a child to secondary school costing an average of €1,500 per year. It is too much for parents and that is why I am here today, to raise awareness and let other parents know that they are not alone in their struggle, Sinn Féin are on their side and have a list of proposals to help alleviate this burden.”

For more details on Sinn Fein proposals on Back to Schools costs and other policies please visit sinnfein.ie

 

Adams disappointment at lack of response from some Oireachtas members

Gerry Adams Traveller protestSinn Fein president and Louth TD Gerry Adams has reiterated his call for all Louth Oireachtas members to use their office to assist in rehoming the traveller families recently evicted from Woodland Park, Dundalk 

Speaking following a demonstration at Leinster house organised by the traveller families Teachta Adams said,

“Last week I organised a briefing for Oireachtas members on this eviction and I brought members of the evicted families to the Dáil to present their case.

“During that meeting I proposed that all Louth Oireachtas members would sign a joint letter to the Chief Executive of Louth County Council calling on her to urgently seek funding to upgrade Woodland Park and make it an emergency halting site.

“To date both Minister Ged Nash and Fergus O’Dowd TD have agreed.  Their assistance is most welcome.

To date Seamus Kirk TD, Senator Mary Moran, Senator Jim Darcy, and Peter Fitzpatrick TD have not got back to me. This is disappointing.

“Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Meenan has also tabled a motion supporting this proposition to go before Louth County Council’s monthly meeting on 15th February. I hope it is supported by the other councillors.

“Once again I am calling on the Chief Executive of Louth County Council to fulfil her legal obligation to provide accommodation for travellers.

“The easiest, quickest and most cost effective way to do this is by applying for funding from central government to make Woodland Park an emergency temporary halting site.”