Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty has said that government plans to introduce ‘Troika-style’ spending controls will result in workers and families continuing to be negatively impacted by the pandemic for years to come.
The Donegal TD described as an insult the fact that Minister McGrath intends cutting vital income supports for those who need them, while the very same minister signed off on €16,000 wage increases for Super Junior Ministers and €80,000 for a Secretary General that was not even needed.
Teachta Doherty added that ‘Troika-style’ controls in areas such as an already under-resourced health service were of particular concern.
Teachta Doherty said:
“Confirmation by Minister McGrath that the government plan drastic cuts to household and income supports in the months ahead is frankly disturbing.
“The Minister has made clear his intention to cut the Pandemic Unemployment Payment by the beginning of July, despite the fact that tens of thousands of people will remain unemployed.
“This is the very same Minister who signed off on yearly bumper payments of €10,000 for Super Junior Ministers, and a pay increase of more than €80,000 for a Secretary General that wasn’t even needed.
“The same Minister is now determined to cut vital income supports for households that need them, despite there being no certainty on the future of the virus.
“The government made the same mistake last year only to be forced into a u-turn under pressure from Sinn Féin.
“Thousands of people who lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic will remain unemployed for some time.
“The government’s plan to cut the PUP will not only hurt households, it will hamper economic recovery.
“Just as disturbing is the Minister’s plan to introduce ‘Troika-style’ spending controls across departments, including the Department of Health.
“A decade of under-investment and mismanagement under Fine Gael left our health service and its staff under-resourced when the pandemic first struck.
“Even after the pandemic, our hospitals will face the same pressures as they did before.
“Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s plans for ‘Troika-style’ controls over our health service reveal plans to return to the same pressures with the same unacceptable failures from government.
“Just as the election of 2020 called for change, the pandemic has underscored the need for change.
“For better public services, a more responsive state and a New Deal for workers and families.
“It is clear that the government parties’ plan is to return to the failures of the past that they created.”