Coalition criticised over unfair policy agenda

Fianna Fáil: ‘Thousands of families still struggling to make ends meet’

Pearse Doherty: Sinn Féin glad to see backs of troika. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pearse Doherty: Sinn Féin glad to see backs of troika. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sat, Dec 14, 2013, 01:00

Opposition parties have welcomed the bailout exit and troika departure but criticised the Government for unfairly targeting the vulnerable in society.

Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath yesterday said the bailout meant painful cuts and taxes and that its successful implementation was down to “incredible resilience” of the Irish people.

He said the test of economic recovery will come when people notice an improvement in living standards.

“For too many people this is not happening,” added Mr McGrath. “In fact, the choices that this Government have made to date have unfairly targeted the most vulnerable in society.

“Many thousands of families are still struggling to make ends meet, the health service is in crisis and significant threats to Irish and European recovery remain.”

Mr McGrath said several key issues have not been adequately addressed over the last three years and that genuine sustainable solutions have not been put in place in respect of mortgage arrears.

Sinn Féin said the Government would still adhere to a troika “mindset of austerity above all else”.

“Sinn Féin is glad to see the backs of the troika, although we realise their influence, formally and informally, will be prevalent for a long time to come,” said party finance spokesman Pearse Doherty.

“Unfortunately the government has shown no desire to get rid of the troika mind-set and that means little will change for the better in the near future,” added Mr Doherty.

He also accused Minister for Finance Michael Noonan of “spinning” about the possibility of tax cuts six months out from the local and European elections.

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