Friday, June 29, 2012

Bondholders paid while children hungry and businesses closed – Wexford Sinn Féin

Wexford Sinn Féin has slated the government’s payment of a further €1.14 billion to unguaranteed, unsecured bondholders - while one fifth of Irish children now go hungry. Speaking on behalf of the party in Wexford, County Chairperson Oisin O’Connell condemned the government for preparing to cut €500 million from the social welfare budget while handing over tax payer’s money to cover the sins of a failed EU banking and financial system.

Mr O’ Connell said;

“The Government wants to bleed €3.5 billion out of our economy by Christmas - that sum would fund the entire National School system for over a year. As part of that budget, right now it is scheming to slash €500 million from Social Welfare for December. ”

“This week they are handing over one third of that €3.5 billion, to cover four unguaranteed bonds. These are private bets on debt that the Government and their predecessors have agreed to insure - at public cost - when they went bad. €1.14 billion worth of bonds - the bad debts of Irish Nationwide and Anglo Irish Bank - are due to be paid by the Irish Government at our expense. ”

“There is a social cost, and public price tag that goes with all this. And it is often the least powerful - poor, sick, disabled, children, and the elderly - whose interests prove most expendable when paying it.”

“One calculation suggests that the interest alone on servicing this burden, could provide rehabilitative training for 150 disabled children, each year. Or, it could potentially fund the Jack and Jill Foundation (providing care for some of the most desperately ill children in the State) for over 15 years. And little over a third of that might allow dying children to be cared for at home instead of in acute hospitals - where their care costs about six times as much.”

“But Fine Gael and Labour's priority - like their Fianna Fail predecessors - is to pay private unsecured senior bondholders at our, public expense. Meanwhile, Crumlin Children’s Hospital has to fundraise to a new cardiac unit and a refurbished cancer ward. And earlier this year a report issued by the Health Promotion Research Centre of NUI Galway, found that one in five Irish children had gone to bed hungry.”

“Massive austerity measures are destroying the economic and social fabric of life for communities across this state. Once again ordinary Irish families are to pay the price for the sins of a flawed EU banking system. The empty shop windows on Main Street, are the visible price tag for bailing out the financial managers on Dame Street.”

“This money should be invested in the real Ireland of the real economy. It should be used for Quality Service Delivery - education, healthcare, and infrastructure - for the benefit of all our citizens, residents, and families.”

“It should have been but wasn’t. Irish tax payer’s money is being flushed down the toilet to socialise the bad bets of the European banking system. I can remember senior members of Fine Gael and Labour accusing Fianna Fail of economic treason during the last days of the Cowen regime. By allowing these payments to go ahead the coalition government is just as guilty, as their ideological collaborators and fellow-travellers today. Fine Gael and Labour are just the political wing of the ECB. It's not excessive government spending, but excessive bank lending that lies at the root of the Eurozone crisis which ordinary Irish families and businesses are paying for. The government's remedy is the actual malady.”

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