Speaking this morning (Tuesday) as he published his party’s Alternative Budget document, Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD said Budget 2019 "offers the government an opportunity to begin the process of tackling the exorbitant cost of living in this state and to introduce the policies that will start to turn the tide on the health and housing crises".
Teachta Doherty said that the Sinn Féin Alternative Budget 2019 document is about increasing the income to family homes, and lowering costs to make life in Ireland affordable again.
Teachta Doherty said;
“Our budget offers urgent and direct policies that would start to bring the housing and health crises to an end.
“Our budget is about a new, modern economy based on fairness, shared prosperity and world-class public services, where we invest in the potential of every citizen and community in the state, and where no one is ever left behind.
“As with all budgets, this budget is about choices. Sinn Féin chooses to invest the available resources in our public services and infrastructure to help protect us from another economic crash.
“Sinn Féin would invest to give people a break from the hardships created by the lost decade of economic recklessness as well as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael austerity.
“We would help struggling renters by introducing a tax relief worth one month’s rent and a three year emergency rent freeze. We would double the government’s social housing output in 2019 through the construction of social and affordable homes.
“We would halve the cost of childcare for young children.
“We would increase incomes by raising the minimum wage to €10.50 and implementing an €11.90 living wage across the public sector and civil services. We would increase social welfare payments.
“Sinn Féin would lay the foundations for world class public services through increased investment in education, healthcare, disability services and public transport.
“We would begin to tackle the trolley crisis by reopening 500 hospital beds that have been closed by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.
“We would strengthen rights for workers and ensure that banks and the wealthiest in society pay their fair share of tax.
“And we would invest in the potential and stability of SMEs and Irish businesses in the face of Brexit and increasing uncertainty.
“These are the choices Sinn Féin would make. Our alternative budget is costed and achievable and I commend it to the Government.”