Speaking in the Dáil on 7th December during budgetary statements by party leaders Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD accused the government of producing “A budget devoid of hope”.
The Sinn Féin leader described the budget as “an anti-jobs budget” and a “pro-landlord and pro property speculators budget”.
He said that the government parties “can’t blame Fianna Fáil any longer… you have consciously chosen to introduce the measures you have applied this week. You have gone at this economy with a wrecking ball with your ill thought out, poorly prioritised budget and we will all be the worse off for it.“
On Child Benefit Mr Adams accused Labour of “making another u-turn – breaking another election promise. The fact is that these reductions in Child Benefit are an attack on children in low income families.”
He said: “The poorest families in the state have been the ones hardest hit by the Budget. Lone parents have been deliberately targeted.”
Mr. Adams said: “Under this government’s watch the tax take is down, the cost of living is increasing, unemployment is rising and Fine Gael and Labour have just extended the failed banking guarantee.”
The Sinn Fein President added:
“The decision to cut the fuel allowance by €120 is scandalous and will cost lives.
Hospitals and other services across the state are under enormous pressure and these further attacks will only deepen the crisis.
You trumpet allocating €35 million to mental health services with one hand and then with the other strip €50 million from disability, mental health and children”s services. Deceitful actions!
This is no way to treat the elderly citizens of this state.”
On the issue of disability payments Deputy Adams said: “You may have paused it for now Taoiseach, but the fact that you chose to take money off the disabled is evidence of how low this government is prepared to sink and how far Labour has strayed from its socialist and Connolly roots.”
On the European summit on Friday the Sinn Fein leader repeated his “call for an urgent debate in the Dáil on all of these vital matters before you leave for Brussels. Sinn Féin fundamentally rejects any further loss of fiscal powers.”
Gerry Adams was scathing of “bad manners from the government benches”. He said: “The actions of the government backbenchers during the budget day speeches demonstrate the real cynicism of this government.
“Rather than listen to the criticisms and constructive proposals from this side, they heckle, harangue and shout down.
“And there are repeat offenders; habitual serial shouters with nothing of substance to say themselves and no willingness to listen to what others might have to offer.
“There are also some who exhibit sexist and mysoginistic attitudes.
“This was demonstrated clearly when Mary Lou was making her response to Minister Howlin on Monday.
“Let me give you notice, Section 31, internment without trial,, special courts, death squads, heavy gangs, decades of vile propaganda, demonization and revisionism did not silence Sinn Fein.
“Be sure that a motley crew of bad mannered amadáin, lobby fodder for the government have no chance of succeeding.”
Concluding Gerry Adams was scornful of Labour in government and he contrasted their actions with those of Sinn Féin in the north. He said: “In the executive Sinn Féin, among other positive measures, has blocked the introduction of water charges, invested more in infrastructure than ever before and introduced free prescriptions.
“What have Labour done? They have:
Cut fuel allowance Cut child benefit Cut payments for lone parents, Cut job seekers allowance for part time workers You have cut €475 million out of local economies Cut the disability allowance for 16 and 17 year olds. A nine per cent cut in funding for north-south co-operation in the department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht that is related to Waterways Ireland and Foras na Gaeilge.
“I can only wonder at the disappointment of people who tuned in over the last two days hoping to hear solutions.
“Instead they heard more of the same old story from another conservative government.”