Sinn Féin budget alternative – giving families a break

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has today launched his party’s alternative budget. Deputy Doherty said Sinn Féin’s budget would lower the tax burden on ordinary families, protect public services and invest in jobs. He said ordinary people would be better off under Sinn Féin.

Deputy Doherty said; “The Sinn Fein budget will reduce the tax burden on ordinary families. It will protect public services and invest in jobs.

“We have identified a series of taxation and savings measures, fully costed by government departments, to reduce the deficit and pay for new spending measures.

“These include giving 1.8 million homeowners a tax rebate by abolishing the property tax, restoring the respite grant for 86,000 carers, taking 296,000 low income workers out of the USC, providing free school meals to five hundred more schools and halving the cost of school books, giving every child under five free GP care, extending the fuel allowance by three weeks, protecting the vulnerable – no more cuts to disability payments, no more cuts to Child Benefit, no more cuts to social welfare and introducing a stimulus to create thousands of jobs.

“These proposals are all fully costed by the government’s budgetary costing unit.

“The document also sets out proactive measures to assist job creation, SMEs, the agriculture sector, and people in mortgage distress. It deals with corporation tax and natural resources and also stresses our commitment to equality budgeting.

“Our adjustment is just under €2.5billion. We believe that families need to be given a break. Austerity is not working. The government needs to take its foot off the necks of the people. With this document we show how people are better off under Sinn Féin.”

Slum conditions show need for better supports for tenants – Ellis

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson, Dessie Ellis TD, has described as “damning but not surprising” reports that nearly 90% of flats reviewed by Dublin City Council in the last six months do not meet basic standards.
He made his comments following the release of figures by the council from their current intensified inspection campaign which found 1,384 out of 1,499 failed the test.
Deputy Ellis continued:
“To anyone working with people on low incomes this is no surprise. I see people everyday living in very poor conditions and I am constantly raising issues with the authorities from DCC and the Department of Environment.
“A walk around the older parts of the city will enlighten anyone. There are blocks of very old buildings with often five to eight buzzers on the doors.
“These are Dublin’s modern slums which have long been outside of acceptable standards and turning great profit for landlords.
“Inspections like this must continue and problems identified and dealt with. The unfortunate reality is though that Dublin has a housing shortage. The state is not building enough social housing and demand is already at an all-time high.
“The government need to get serious about providing decent housing for people who otherwise will fall to the prey of slumlords. It must also properly fund the Tenancies Board which has had to cut staff numbers and outsources it services in recent times with absolutely no government grant for its vital work. If this is not done then conditions will only worsen.”