Thursday 14 December 2017

Labour reaction: Burton slams cuts as 'last sting of the dying FF wasp'

ine Kerr and  Patricia McDonagh

THE multi-billion cutbacks Budget was the "last vicious sting" from the outgoing Fianna Fail-led Government, Labour claimed last night.

The party continued to insist only €4.5bn should have been cut in the Budget, despite the EU and IMF demanding a €6bn package. Finance spokeswoman Joan Burton claimed the Budget set out to erode "every social gain" Ireland had inherited.

And she insisted the agreement with the IMF and EU must be renegotiated.

"This Budget, coming after 13 years of Fianna Fail misrule, might be described as the last sting of the dying Fianna Fail wasp," Ms Burton said.

Last night's €6bn Budget was the sixth time since July 2008 that the Government had to implement a series of cutbacks.

The previous five took €14.6bn out of the economy. Under last night's Budget, a family with three kids will lose €40 a month, Ms Burton said.

A worker who has lost their job will see another cut of €8 in jobseekers and basic social welfare payments, in addition to the €8 cut in the last Budget.

Although Labour voted against the Budget, leader Eamon Gilmore said he has accepted he is stuck with its contents if he gets into power in the new year.

In the aftermath of the Budget announcement, Mr Gilmore claimed it was "every bit as bad as we feared" and made middle- and low-income earners bear the brunt of the cutbacks.

Irish Independent

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