Budget 2017: ‘A deal cobbled together’ to serve interests of FG, FF

Sinn Féin says budget is all about doing side deals and keeping Taoiseach in office

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty on Budget 2017: “Our people deserve better, our economy deserves better, and damn sure our country deserves better.’’

Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty on Budget 2017: “Our people deserve better, our economy deserves better, and damn sure our country deserves better.’’

 

Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman said Budget 2017 was “a deal cobbled together’’ to serve the interests of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

“We have a backroom budget that is lacking in vision and failing to learn the lessons of the past,” Pearse Doherty added. “Our people deserve better, our economy deserves better, and damn sure our country deserves better.’’

Mr Doherty said those struggling to get by daily would be better served by investing the €5.6 billion, planned by the Government, in services to keep the country running and working.

The party’s spokesman on social expenditure, David Cullinane, said the budget was all about keeping the Taoiseach in office and doing side deals with Fianna Fáil and the Independent Alliance.

He asked whether the child sleeping in emergency accommodation or the families sleeping in their parents or grandparents’ front room, were considered when the budget was being prepared.

“Did they consider the hundreds of people sleeping rough on the streets in our capital city and across this State?’’ he asked.

Mr Cullinane said Sinn Féin stood for investment in public services, in reducing the cost of living for families, and in decent work and pay.

Command fiction

Labour finance spokeswoman Joan Burton said the budget had the political purpose of keeping the show on the road, maintaining the fiction of a Government in command, and denying the fact the Coalition was a ramshackle bus, the wheels of which were in serious danger of coming off.

“It is a tawdry and disappointing show for those people who had expectations for today, but find they have been addressed in a very limited and disappointing way, if at all,’’ Ms Burton said.

She said the Minister for Finance’s proposal was to squeeze and squeeze the economy for the next 10 years.

Labour’s public expenditure spokesman, Sean Sherlock, said only €10 million had been allocated for 950 home care packages, 58 transitional care beds, expansion of the community intervention teams, and 55 acute beds. “That will not clear the backlog.”

Mr Sherlock said there was a provision for 680 new teachers to meet demographic demands. That was not new and, as such, he would not be trumpeting it as an innovative measure.

More could have been done for education, he said. Postgraduate grants could have been reinstated and, for €10 million, 2,000 additional apprenticeships could have been created.