20/10/2008

Adams Slams Irish Budget As Anti-Republican

The Sinn Féin President has attacked the Irish Government over its recent Budget, , even branding it "anti-republican".

Gerry Adams scorned the controversial aspects of the Budget calling them "punitive", and "anti-citizen", and even referred to the decision to means test medical cards for over 70s as "Thatcherite".

Mr Adams further accused the Green Party and others of being part of a Government "which punishes the young and the elderly and then describes this as a call to patriotic duty".

Speaking in Co Kerry on Saturday at the selection convention to choose his party's candidate for next year's European elections, Mr Adams said: "This week saw Budget 2009 presented to the Oireachtas.

"The Government presented no new ideas for economic recovery. Instead the people of this state now face savage cuts and additional taxes of an unprecedented nature.
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"This Government has never been about the redistribution of wealth or utilizing the economy in the common good. It has always been about looking after its cronies."

The Sinn Fein President also added that their party's Finance Spokesperson, Arthur Morgan, met with Finance Minister Brian Lenihan to express Sinn Féin's concerns. Mr Morgan told the Minister that the taxpayer would see a healthy return for their insurance scheme for the banking sector, however, Sinn Féin wanted to see terms that included a windfall payment to the state, the introduction of a bank levy and an onus on banks to negotiate as much as possible with homeowners facing repossession.

But according to the Sinn Féin Leader, the terms of the Credit Scheme published this week had no real return whatsoever for the taxpayer for underwriting the banks.

There are no additional protections for families facing home repossessions and although additional transparency and enforcement measures are put in place there are huge concerns that much of these rest with the Financial Regulator.

Sinn Féin voted against the terms of the scheme.

(DW)

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