Matt Carthy has said that the Budget announced by Paschal O’Donohoe represents a return to boom and bust economics that led to the crash which caused so much devastation to Irish society.
Matt Carthy said:
“The Budget represents a return to ‘’boom and bust’ economics – a boom for Fine Gael’s privileged friends and bust for everyone else.
“This can be seen very clearly in the fact that as a result of Budget measures, a €20,000 earner will be €53 a year better off while a €70,000 will be €328 a year better off.
“Giving €330m in tax cuts demonstrates scant regard for the plight of ordinary families struggling to make ends meet.
“Our crumbling health service faces a net loss as a result of this Budget ensuring the trolley crisis continues.
“The Minister announced €685 million for Health but the service needs at least €691 million just to stand still.
“Social Welfare recipients will get just a €5 increase and will be forced to wait until the end of March to get this.
“Sinn Féin would have given all working age recipients €260 for 2018 and people with disabilities an increase of €6 as an initial recognition of the additional cost of disability or €312 for 2018.
“The Government has rejected affordable and deliverable childcare proposals from Sinn Féin, which would have helped struggling parents, childcare workers and community providers.
“Paschal Donohoe’s Budget, as Pearse Doherty clearly outlined, serves merely to tolerate and normalises mass homelessness, particularly of children.
“The decision to allocate a huge amount of available resources on tax cuts will ensure that the housing crisis will continue.
“There will be absolutely no increase in social housing targets for 2018 and there are no targets or funding to deliver affordable rental or purchase.
“The €50m announced today to meet the challenges of Brexit is pathetic, considering that Brexit could lead to up to a 7% drop in GNP.
“In our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin proposed a Capital Plan for Brexit that would increase spending by €1.6b to prepare for Brexit.
“Meanwhile the Minister for Finance has allocated €5 million per year on the government’s propaganda unit – the equivalent of 50 resource teachers and 56 Special Needs Assistants.
“This is outrageous and demonstrates very clearly the priorities of this Fine Gael Government.
“Fundamentally this Budget peddles a lie that we can fix the health and housing crises while cutting taxes. This is simply not possible.
“Once again Fine Gael, fully supported by Fianna Fáil, have taken the side of the privileged against ordinary families and the services they need. Worse still, they have returned to the Boom & Bust economic model which has caused so much devastation in the years since the crash.”