Sinn Féin spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brain Stanley TD, has called for “new thinking, new policies and a new economic programme.”
Speaking during the Dáil’s economic debate, Deputy Stanley said: “There are many indicators how life has deteriorated for ordinary people since this government came to power. Unemployment has continued to rise, up to a staggering 435,200 in September. This does not include the 200,000 who have emigrated since 2008 or those who are not entitled to sign on, yet have no income or work.
“New figures released to Sinn Féin demonstrate that the IDA is failing to support many parts of the country and worryingly the number of potential investor visits has reduced over the past 18 months. Laois did not have any IDA investor visits this year while Offaly had only one,” he said.
Deputy Stanley went on to say that the health care system remains critical, limping from crisis to crisis. He pointed out that the scandal of stroke politics has raised its ugly head again and he said that the recent primary health care centre scandal has all the hall marks of “Fianna Fáil gombeenism”.
“706,371 people, including a staggering 200,000 children, now live in poverty,” he said. “To say Labour is having no effect in government would be an understatement. Their presence in government with Fine Gael has been an abject failure. Labour proved once again they are either incapable or unwilling to stand up to the bully boys of Fine Gael.
Dep Stanley said that the myth that Fine Gael is good for business simply does not stand up.
“The facts are, lending to SMEs amounted to €407 million in the first quarter of 2012, down 29.6% from the fourth quarter of 2011. Sinn Féin is proposing almost €13 billion in additional investment in job creation and economic growth over four years. This would create an average of 156,000 jobs and retain up to 15,000 jobs. We need new thinking, new policies and a new economic programme from this government,” he concluded.