Sinn Féin’s Deputy Pearse Doherty, vice president Mary Lou McDonald, social protection spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh and West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty met with the Troika review group in Dublin this morning.
Speaking afterwards Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said: “This is the third meeting Sinn Féin has had with the Troika. At each meeting we have outlined our view that their policies of austerity are not working. They are blocking a return to growth and are hurting low and middle income families.
“Our meeting with the Troika was frank and constructive. However it is clear that they are more focused on meeting deficit reduction targets than on the need for investment in jobs and growth.
“We discussed the impact of austerity on families, the need to invest in job creation, the outworking of last Friday’s European Council meeting, proposed changes to social welfare schemes including Community Employment, Child Benefit and the household benefits package, the Croke Park agreement and the Irish government’s funding of the A5 Dublin to Derry motorway.
“The Troika said that the government must meet its deficit reduction targets. However they made it very clear that the way in which these targets are met is a matter for the government.
“On issues such as tax reform, public spending and social welfare payments the government has significant scope and choice on what policies it pursues.
“Contrary to what government ministers are telling us, it is the government who are forcing the burden of adjustment on low and middle income families rather than on the very wealthy in our society.”