Wednesday 21 February 2018

Sinn Fein calls for end of toxic loans agency

Sinn Fein today urged the setting up of a commission to safely dismantle the State's toxic loans agency.

At the party's annual think in, Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain said the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) should be wound up.

A commission could examine the most responsible and economically safe way of doing this, he told delegates at the pre-Dail gathering.

Mr O Caolain also claimed people were becoming more politicised over the economic crisis and would no longer accept multi-billion euro cutbacks on public services.

"The current Government has bred disgust and disillusionment with politics," he said.

"They are hoping people have their heads down and will accept the forthcoming savage budget with little protest.

"But people have become politicised. They will not accept this lying down."

Accusing the Government of an appalling mishandling of the banking crisis, Mr O Caolain warned another much-feared slash-and-burn Budget would not help the economy.

Mr O Caolain said a focus on creating jobs and not cutting public spending was the key to the country's recovery.

"In education Government cuts mean dilapidated schools, larger classes and neglect of special needs," he said.

"In health the cuts mean longer waiting lists, cancelled operations, more people on trolleys and chairs in A&E, hospital services closed down.

"If the recruitment ban in the public health services is maintained over the next three years then a further 6,000 posts will remain unfilled."

Mr O Caolain said the planned cuts were part of a totally flawed fiscal policy that would take the life blood out of the economy.

"Many economic commentators would have us believe that savage cuts to vital public services are inevitable. That is not the case," he said.

The party's Dail leader said investment in job creation and job retention would make a real difference in people's lives and provide a real return to public finances.

The party is preparing for a pre-Budget rally against cuts in Dublin on Saturday December 4.

Press Association

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