Donegal North East TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has described the first part of the budget unveiled by the Government as “anti-jobs, anti-investment and downright unfair”.
He also described news that Culdaff garda station is to close as “another attack on rural Donegal.”
Deputy Mac Lochlainn told donegaldaily.com: “This budget is unfair, anti-jobs and anti-investment. The government already stated that it will cut capital budgets by €750 million including 90% of their contribution to the A5 dual carriageway so vital to Donegal. Now it will cut an additional €1.4 billion from public spending.
“The government will shed 23,000 public sector jobs. They will take €1.6 billion out of expenditure in flat taxes. That will be €1.6 billion that will not be spent in shops, goods and services. It will cost jobs for our local businesses.
“Over the past year, 1,800 businesses have been closed. In the last number of years 55,000 jobs have been lost in the retail sector. Since coming to power this government has stood over increased unemployment and emigration.
“A government that promised so much has now been reduced to relying on emigration to keep down unemployment figures. Across Donegal, thousands of our young people have already left. So many chairs will be empty at the dinner tables of Donegal homes this Christmas. This government, like its policies, is not working.
“That is a shame and a disgrace. The government had choices to make. It was elected to deliver change. The government says that jobs are a priority yet they are spending over 150 times more on one year’s Anglo Irish Bank promissory note than on job creation or training. It has decided to side with the bondholders and not local business. It has decided to continue with the failed policies of the past.”
He said Sinn Féin has advocated a policy that would meet the deficit reductions and create growth and employment. The Government could have brought forward progressive policies. Instead it has taken even more money out of the economy and undermined growth, said the TD.
Responding to confirmation that Culdaff Garda Station is to close next year, Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:”This is yet another attack on rural Donegal. If you combine the closure of Garda stations and cuts to garda numbers, cuts to rural transport, cuts to the councils roads budget, post office closures septic tank replacement costs, bed closures at nursing units and community hospitals and cuts to farmers incomes, we are witnessing the dismantlement of the community, public and physical infrastructure of rural Donegal and rural Ireland. Shame on this Government.”
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