Mr O' Connell said;
"It was essential for this state and its people that the government should make the right choices in Budget 2013. Unfortunately cutting old age pensioners, children, low income workers, under pressure mortgage holders and the severely handicapped while avoiding the necessary big steps like the introduction of a wealth tax does not constitute making the right choices."
"This budget will cost the average Wexford family €790 per annum. That amounts to health insurance for two children or six weeks of food shopping. This budget ignores the wish of the vast majority of people for the abolition of the household charge by introducing a property tax which will be three times as expensive and will be subject to collection by the revenue commissioners. This budget cuts €350 off the respite grant for the severely handicapped instead of targeting those who earn above €100,000 per year."
"Clearly the wrong choices have been made."
"The government must ask themselves; what are our priorities? Is it to get people back to work and make them self sufficient and free from social benefits? Or is it to regard people as national debt-servicing machines? If so, won’t this increase the likelihood of more people, under more pressure, flooding further into the social welfare system, as their supports get removed elsewhere?"
"Sinn Féin has consistently argued that those who can afford to pay more should do so. To put it simply; if a lifeboat is full of children, the elderly and the infirm and contains one international rugby player, it makes sense that the rugby star would do the majority of rowing. Our economy is a lifeboat now and it is not unreasonable to ask those who can afford to pay more to take more of a share in the pain. If not, our lifeboat is going nowhere."
"Sinn Féin would welcome some of the more progressive measures outlined in the budget plan. The rebate on haulier's diesel and the introduction of energy efficiency, retrofitting and upgrading via incentivised investment are to be welcomed and were two parts of our recent jobs plan."
"There were alternatives available to the austerity measures that were delivered in Budget 2013. Sinn Féin has consistently argued for the introduction of a wealth tax. In the coming weeks we will be holding information meetings across the county on the sensible alternative to a property tax; the immediate introduction of a wealth tax. To find out more information on this and on our reaction to the budget I would ask people to visit www.budget2013.org."