The day before the budget I called on the Minister for Finance to get Ireland back to work. I asked him to protect the vulnerable in our society and that any cuts that had to be made were done so in a fair manner.”
I am astonished that the Minister and his Government colleagues has failed to do anything that was asked of him. He has taxed those who need our help and assistance the most. The most vulnerable people in society were not protected, the disabled, blind people and carers were cruelly slammed.
Our children were hit in two ways, child benefit was cut and education was cut by 5%. Children born today and those who are in school will feel the affects of this budget for years to come.
This budget disproportionately hit the younger members of our society. Young people who have been forced onto the dole queues are now being penalised for the economic mismanagement of Fianna Fáil. As a direct result of this budget there will be a large number of young people emigrating, forced to leave this country.
To make things worse, there was no jobs plan from this government in this budget. Fine Gael showed the government how it could cut the dole queues next year by 50,000 people by implementing a jobs plan. Unfortunately this government were more concerned about, planting trees, opening a visitor centre in Wexford and securing Jackie Healy-Rae’s vote by giving him a hospital in Kenmare.
The cut in public sector pay for people earning less that €30,000 is an absolute disgrace. Again Fine Gael showed the government how this could be avoided and how we could start out on a plan to reform the public sector. These are people who may have large mortgages, young families and who are providing crucial services to this country and Fianna Fáil decided to target them.
Fianna Fáil have shown yesterday that they have no vision of how to get us out of this mess, they have no plan to get us out of this mess and they offer no hope to anyone in society. I call on this government call a general election so as the public can cast judgement on the worst government since the foundation of the state.