Sunday 21 January 2018

'In five years, there won't be enough money because they protected the wealthy' - Pearse Doherty on new Programme for Government

Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty admitted that the new Programme for Government had "some good ideas" but maintained it is a "wishlist without any costs attached to it".

The party's finance spokesperson was speaking on Newstalk Breakfast following the publishing of the long-awaited programme yesterday "after 70 days of negotiation".

"There's is very little detail very little specifics, no costs," Doherty said on the radio show this morning.

"If [the Government] is so sure about the figures. let's publish the costs...I think it is back of the envelope calculations." 

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohue spoke about the promise of 200,000 new jobs by 2020, a target build of 25,000 annually and a reduction in hospital waiting times earlier in the show. "It absolutely is not a populist document," he said.

Read more: Programme for Government: the key areas

But Doherty claimed that the detail in the huge document is "very very underwhelming".

"There's major issues here but the big issue at the end of the day is that the Governement are planning a €3.5-€4bn tax cut," he said.

"Everybody loves to have their tax cut - I know that and I understand that - but at the end of the day you cannot deal with the prices that we have in health education, you can't reduce the cost of childcare out there...We need to build the road infrastrtuctuer and the broadband infrastructure - then we can cut the tax bill."

"It's simply impossible - it's the fundamental block in this five years we will realise that there is not enough money because they have decided to protect the wealthy in society."

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