Adams says State should not pay for rock'n'roll lifestyles
SINN FÉIN:THE IRISH people cannot afford to subsidise “rock’n’roll” lifestyles” for former taoisigh or special advisers, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said yesterday.
In a three-minute televised address pre-recorded ahead of Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin’s Dáil speech on the budget but broadcast after the RTÉ 6pm news bulletin, Mr Adams described the budget as “the same old story from this conservative Government”.
Mr Adams was offered the airtime to respond to Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s “state of the nation” statement on Sunday night.
He said that, “like Fianna Fáil before them”, the Fine Gael and Labour parties had promised “a new Ireland built on fairness and equal citizenship and an end to cronyism”.
However, Mr Adams said those at the top had not made sacrifices.
“Instead, our young and elderly, citizens with special needs, our carers, our sick, lone parents, women, citizens on low and middle incomes and the unemployed are expected to pay for the greed of the golden circles, the political elites, the developers and bankers.”
Sinn Féin advocated the building of “a real republic” and the creation of a fair society based on equality, Mr Adams said.
The tax system needed to be fairer, targeting wealth and lifting the burden off the least-well-off.
“The Irish people cannot afford to subsidise rock’n’roll lifestyles for former taoisigh or special advisers when special needs assistants are being cut,” Mr Adams said.
“We cannot afford a two-tier health system that subsidises private health when local hospitals are being shut.
“We cannot afford to devastate rural Ireland with cuts to local services and additional charges for sceptic tanks.”
He also said the State could not afford to “hand over €3.12 billion of the people’s money to Anglo Irish Bank next March”.
Mr Adams called on the Government to put Irish interests first in the face of pressure from France and Germany, “who are defending their national interests”.
He said Sinn Féin believed that economic recovery was possible based on a strategy of “fair” taxes, investment in jobs, debt restructuring and “growing the all-Ireland economy”, while protecting public services and those on low and middle incomes.
Mr Adams said the Irish people deserved a “better, fairer budget”. He called for “real investment” in health and education services.
There should be “a job stimulus package” which would get people back to work and increase State revenue, Mr Adams said.
“That’s the way to reduce the social welfare bill.” He also called for an end “to bailouts for bad banks and bondholders”.
Wasteful public spending should be eliminated, he said, while “excessive pay and pensions in the public sector” should be brought to an end.