Greens vow to protect vulnerable
Published 17/02/2011 | 16:47
Society's most vulnerable would be sheltered from draconian Budget cuts if the Greens are re-elected, the party has claimed.
As the party published its social policy plan for a better Ireland, it demanded Labour come clean about what social welfare cuts it will make if in Government.
Green Party leader John Gormley accused Labour of deceiving voters with a cavalier approach to correcting the public finances.
"Apart from hiding 2bn euro of taxes and cuts, they peddle the fiction that you can cut over 1bn euro from social welfare without cutting basic rates: this is not possible," he added.
The Greens pledged that if re-elected they would not make any cuts to basic social welfare rates or the state pension and would extend childcare schemes despite making 9bn euro in budgetary adjustments.
They also plan to create refundable tax credits for the low paid and part-time workers.
Mr Gormley said Fine Gael has at least admitted it will cut unemployment benefits by up to four euro a week by 2014.
Meanwhile deputy leader Mary White said the pursuit of social justice has always been central to the Green Party's guiding principles.
"In government we fought to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society," said the former junior minister for equality.