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Doherty opens government no confidence debate in Dáil

Speaking in the Dáil this evening the Sinn Féin TD said the government have broken their election promises and “lost the support of the people”.

Pearse Doherty (far right) with Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams at the Sinn Féin pre budget submission.
Pearse Doherty (far right) with Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams at the Sinn Féin pre budget submission.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

SINN FÉIN TD Pearse Doherty this evening opened the debate on the party’s motion of no confidence in the government remarking that last week’s budget marks the “total betrayal” of the election promises of the government.

Doherty said that when this government was formed, there was “enormous hope and expectation that things were going to be different”.

“In the months that followed the formation of the coalition, that hope has slowly been dashed,” he said.

The Sinn Féin TD said the budget announcement last week has “opened the floodgates of deep disappointment and burning anger”.

He said the motion of no confidence is a reflection of the anger of ordinary people who are asking why the parties in government are breaking pre-election promises on child benefit and property tax.

“Budget 2013 marks the total betrayal of the election promises of this Fine Gael and Labour government,” he said.

Respite care grant, child benefit, family home tax

Though Doherty said he could give “countless” examples of why TDs should vote no confidence in the government, he focused on the cut to the respite care grant, the cut to child benefit and the family home tax.

“This is a budget that attacks carers, the sick, older people, children and families,” he said.

“It is a budget that will increase financial hardship and poverty for tens of thousands of families.”

In reference to the Family Home Tax, Doherty said 170,000 families are in serious mortgage distress and hudreds of thousands more are in negative equity.

“Fine Gael and Labour campaigned on a promise to assist those who are struggling to pay their mortgages, to ease their burden,” he said

“And what have you done? You have slapped a tax on their family home on top of all the other stealth taxes and charges contained in the budget.”

Doherty said the cuts and the tax were just three reasons why the public has lost confidence in the government.

“There is no doubt that Fine Gael and Labour have broken their contract with the people.  They have ridden roughshod over their election promises,” he said.

“This is the reason why Sinn Féin has tabled a motion of no confidence in the Government tonight, not because you do not have our support, but because you have lost the support of the people,” he added.

Political posturing

Responding to the motion, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said it amounts to “little more than political posturing by Sinn Féin”.

Howlin said that Sinn Féin have “a brass neck” to move the no confidence motion.

“After18 months of stewardship, this is a country and an economy on a difficult road to recovery,” he said. “Economic growth returned in 2011 and the economy is set to grow again this year.”

Howlin said recovery is underway “precisely because this government has been prepared to take difficult decisions”.

“I take no pleasure about what has happened to this country in the last six years or the decisions that have been taken”, he said.

The Minister said deputies support the government because “they know the long term interest of the Irish people require decisions to be taken because this country does not enjoy the resources it did five years ago”.

Read: Sinn Féin publishes motion of no confidence in government>

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