“Sinn Féin’s pre-budget submission is a 40-page fairytale based on two central planks that cancel each other out,” said Deputy McHugh today.
“The submission includes a major job creation plan to be funded to the tune of €1.7bn by the European Investment Bank. Separately, the Sinn Féin plan proposes that the Irish State should not pay out on Anglo Irish Bank promissory notes.”
He said the EU/IMF/ECB troika has made it clear that Ireland must meet legacy Ango Irish Bank obligations if the State wishes to continue with the bailout programme. The European Investment Bank is the European Union’s Bank, and its credit will not be available to Ireland if there is a default on the promissory notes, he argued.
“So this Sinn Féin document contradicts itself from the very beginning. It contains long passages setting out the Party’s opposition to austerity in the Republic of Ireland. Yet the Sinn Féin leadership in Stormont sanctioned the closure of the A&E unit at Belfast City Hospital earlier this month,” said McHugh.
“The document proposes that €5.1bn of the National Pension Reserve Fund should be used for investment; today there is just €5.3bn in the Fund. This is more flip-flopping from Sinn Féin on the Pension Fund; if the Party had its way in the February 2011 general election the NPRF would be almost gone by now; its general election manifesto last February proposed using the NPRF to run the State for the remainder of 2011.
“Fine Gael TDs are working hard with our Party’s representatives in Government to ensure that Budget 2012 will be a responsible and fair investment in the future of Irish citizens. This Sinn Féin proposal is a distraction that highlights the Party’s make-believe economic policy, and the hypocrisy of its separate approaches to economic problems in Northern Ireland and the Republic.”Tags: