Cllr Johnny Mythen has said that it is evident now that the policies of austerity implemented by successive governments are failing. Cllr Mythen and Sinn Féin have called upon the government to abandon the failed policies of Fianna Fail and to instead concentrate on a real job creation strategy and much needed reform of the tax system.
“Sinn Féin has long warned that aggressive austerity measures will do more harm than good to our crippled economy,” Cllr Mythen said. “New Central Bank projections released last week show that the government is set to miss almost all of its economic targets, published only a few weeks ago. The Central Bank projections predict that consumer spending will remain below zero in 2012. Is it any wonder when Fine Gael and Labours plans for economic recovery involved removing more money from citizen’s pockets through new taxes, fewer local services and lower wages? The retail industry is already on its knees. How could a monstrosity like the new household charge improve that sectors plight?”
“New figures from the CSO show that unemployment has now reached 14.3%. 447,900 people are now out of work. Of course this figure does not include those who are not entitled to social welfare due to having been self employed or owning land that is probably unsellable. It also fails to include those who have been forced to emigrate. Sinn Féin warned both the previous government and the current one that extreme austerity measures would lead to increased unemployment and emigration. Unfortunately, we were right.”
“It’s time for this government to abandon the failed economic policies of Fianna Fail which they once fervently condemned, and to embrace a progressive, realistic job creation strategy. The government’s jobs initiative failed in comparison to pre election promises from Fine Gael of 100,000 new jobs, and Labours promised €500 million job fund. They must recommit themselves to solving the unemployment crisis. They must also look at progressive taxation and implementing a policy of ‘those who can afford to pay more should do so’. Tax reform must also be addressed as the misuse of taxbreaks by wealthy individuals continues to cost the state revenue in a time when a weekly tax is being placed on old aged pensioners.”