Thursday, December 10, 2009

Budget 2010 - Robbing the poor to protect the rich

Budget 2010 ranks as one of the worst budgets I have seen in my lifetime. It is unfair, deflationary and will serve to exacerbate the economic crisis. The country is at a cross roads and the Government had two options – the road to recovery or the road to a deeper recession. They chose the latter. In doing so they took money out of the pockets of those who could not afford to give and protected those who could afford to give most. They acted like Robin Hood in reverse; they robbed the poor to protect the rich.

Cutting social welfare payments, taking money of the blind, the unemployed, carers, widowers, people with disabilities and young people is despicable. The biggest fraud of all is the Governments claim that they had no choice. This is a lie. They could have introduced a third rate of tax for top earners, they could have standardised tax relief measures or they could have introduced a wealth tax. They did not do any of this. They looked instead at those who had most and left them alone. They looked also at those who had least and took from their already empty pockets.

A sustained campaign by many groups will undoubtedly ensue to reverse the unfair elements of the budget. This is laudable. However what is really required is a general election to remove this Government from office. It is time for more Irish people to reflect on how their vote impacts on their lives. If you feel the Government is making a mess of the economy then vote them out. If you don’t trust the main opposition parties don’t vote for them either. We in Sinn Féin must continue to offer a genuine alternative and convince people that we can and will do things better. There is a fairer way and a better way to sort out the economy. Our pre-budget submission pointed towards the road to recovery. Unfortunately the Government took the turn to deeper recession and in the process have driven more people into poverty. Shame on them!

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