Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that a change of government is needed to get to grips with the crises in housing, health and the cost of living.
Her comments were made at the party’s annual parliamentary ‘think-in’ in Dublin today, where TDs, Senators and MEP met in advance of the new Dáil term to discuss election preparations, cost of living and housing. They will also receive a briefing from First Minister designate Michelle O’Neill on the restoration of the political institutions in the north.
Teachta McDonald said:
“We face into one of the most important periods in the history of Irish politics as we are on the countdown to Local, European and Udarás na Gaeltachta elections in June and a General Election that could happen at any time.
“The public appetite for change is growing every day as this government have shown that they are not up to the task.
“The longer that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have been in government the worse things are getting – just look at the crises in housing, health and the cost of living.
“If we want things to change, we need a change of government.
“It is clear that housing will be the defining issue of the coming election – about how Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s failures in housing are now impacting on the ability of employers to hire workers, schools to hire teachers and hospitals to hire doctors and nurses. The housing crisis is so dire that another generation are either leaving Ireland or continuing to live at home with their parents into their thirties and forties.
“If the people give us the opportunity to lead, Sinn Féin will make housing the number one priority of a new government – not only in words but in actions and in results.
“The choice at the next election is a worsening housing crisis under Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael or a Sinn Féin led government that will fix the housing crisis by reducing rents and delivering the largest social and affordable house building programme in the history of the state.
“That is the level of action needed to match the scale of the challenge people face.
“Our focus will be on electing enough Sinn Féin TDs to form a government. In my opinion, the very best outcome of that election is a new government without Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael for the first time in a hundred years. I hope the people back that vision. However the outcome of the next General Election is far from decided, we know that we have a lot of work to do between now and then.
“These elections present us with an unprecedented opportunity to transform Ireland for the better, to put workers, families and communities first and to expand the exciting conversation about uniting our country.”