Tipperary will suffer from Budget 2019 failure to prioritise investment and public services – Ciara McCormack

Ciara McCormack, Sinn Féin general election candidate for Tipperary, has commented on the government’s budget proposals and Sinn Féin’s own costed alternative. Despite being ten years on since the banking crisis of 2008, much of Ireland is still left behind from the government’s two-tier recovery model.

“As with all budgets, this budget is about choices. Sinn Féin’s aim is to invest in our public services and infrastructure so as to better secure us from another economic crash.

Tipperary will suffer from Budget 2019 failure to prioritise investment and public services - Ciara McCormack“The government has scope for increasing spending over the next three years by €6 billion within the EU Fiscal Rules but they refuse to avail of this ‘fiscal space’. Their spurious reasons amount to a red-herring about ‘overheating’ the economy; but in most parts of our country the economy is not ‘overheating’ but falling apart, least of all in Tipperary.

“Crises like the emergencies in health and housing, as well as growth and underinvestment in Tipperary will not be improved by continued austerity. Debt is simply not reduced by curtailing spending; it is reduced by growing the economy and withholding investment will undermine that growth.

“What’s more, the shortage of housing is as much a liability to the economy as overheating. Failure to build homes will only degrade living standards and limit the ability to attract foreign investment. If people have to spend more and more on rents and mortgage payments it will mean less spending in the productive economy. In Tipperary this situation has been exacerbated by the 33% increase in the average cost of rents over the last five years.

“Tipperary badly needs more reinforced investment. As a result, the economic ‘recovery’ in Tipperary has been remarkably weak and leaves us badly braced for another downturn in the economy in the years ahead.

“Sinn Féin will also strive to develop world-class services.

“Our cost of childcare is among the highest in the developed world. The government’s refusal to invest in childcare has effectively burdened families with the cost of a second mortgage. Through our costed budget, Sinn Féin promises to halve the costs in childcare.

“The health crisis has had a detrimental impact on Tipperary patients as evidenced by consistent reports from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) which shows that the government is not making any tangible progress in tackling the trolley crisis.

“Hospital wards are chronically understaffed and nurses are under intense pressure from the increased workload. Yet the HSE is spending nearly €1m each day on costly outsourced agency staff rather than concretely addressing the recruitment and retention crisis in medical staff.

“Sinn Féin will tackle the trolley crisis by investing €156.22m in opening an additional 500 hospital beds including all necessary staffing and ancillary costs. Furthermore we will recruit an additional 350 nurses and 150 midwives.

“In Sinn Féin, we aim to offer a budget alternative which is simultaneously radical but realistic.”

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