All sectors of society now bearing the burden of Government’s failed economic policy

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has today reacted to yesterday’s budget, calling it the individual economic cost for the government’s failure to implement adequate fiscal restraints over the past decade.

Deputy Carey said that many families would now be placed in real hardship over the coming months.

The lowering of the minimum wage he said was an unacceptable attack on the lowest paid workers in society, many of who would now also be brought into the tax net for the first time.

While welcoming the decision to reverse the disastrous €10 travel tax, Deputy Carey said the lowering of the tax to €3 seemed a halfway measure intended to save face for the Government.

Deputy Carey welcomed the announcement of an extended community works scheme. In recent months, Deputy Carey had made several submissions on this issue and held direct discussions with Minister O’Cuiv in relation to the implementation of such a policy.

Deputy Carey said:

“Quite simply this was one of the harshest and most brutal budgets ever administered in the history of this State. We’re at this point, where Ireland is practically insolvent and our sovereignty leased out to Europe, as a direct result of the failure of this Fianna Fáil/ Green government to implement prudent economic policy.

We’re at this point also because of the behaviour of reckless and in my view criminal banking executives, none of whom have been arrested or jailed for their actions and are able to retire on astronomical pensions. That in itself tells you something about the priorities of this administration.

Now every household in this state has to pay for the actions of those reckless bankers, and the failure of the regulatory authorities and lack of political leadership.

Families on children’s allowance and social welfare parents will be significantly worse off as a result of this budget. Many will have to borrow to send their children to third level, making a country with high personal debt levels, further indebted.

Carers and those on disability payments will have their allowances severely impacted on.

A middle income family will lose in the region of €300 a month because of this budget, while the increase in primary school transport fees will particularly hit families in rural areas.

Make no mistake; this budget is Fianna Fáil’s in name only. This budget is being partly imposed on Ireland by beurocrats in Europe. It is being imposed because we were sold down the financial swanny during negotiations with the IMF, when the future of this country for the next decade was traded with the EU and the IMF.

I heard our own Minister Killeen recently call the reduction in the minimum wage a “necessary evil.” I don’t agree with this assessment, and I think many ordinary working families find such a targeted cut against some of the lowest paid workers in this society appalling. There is nothing necessary about it in my view.

Perhaps the most unpalatable aspect of this budget is that the government will hardly be around long enough to see the ink dry. They are operating in a moral vacuum, without any credibility or real authority. The sooner we have a new government, with fresh ideas, the better it will be for everyone in this state.”