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1 December 2015 Edition

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‘A Fresh Start’

The Conservative Party Government in Westminster has slashed funding to public services, to those most in need and to supports for working families. The Irish Government looked on from the sidelines as the Tories imposed in the North the same austerity policies that Labour and Fine Gael have championed in the South.

THE RECENT CRISIS in the North has been created by Tory policy, the electoral competition within unionism, and the failure of the Irish Government to stand up for the rights of Irish citizens and the previous agreements. 

The Conservative Party Government in Westminster has slashed funding to public services, to those most in need and to supports for working families. The Irish Government looked on from the sidelines as the Tories imposed in the North the same austerity policies that Labour and Fine Gael have championed in the South.

The leadership of the Tory party are ‘Thatcher’s Children’, born of privilege, millionaires detached from the reality of daily life. 

These are the people Sinn Féin was facing down.

These are the people that Fine Gael and Labour share a common policy of cuts with.

After over three months of intense and difficult negotiations between the parties and the two governments, an agreement has been reached. 

Working political institutions in the North are the first line of defence against the austerity agenda of the Tory Government. 

In the face of continued Tory cuts, Sinn Féin negotiated a package of measures, including an extra half a billion pounds in new money and a further similar amount in additional flexibilities to invest in public services and the economy. None of this would have been delivered by any other party. 

The Tories refused to sign up to truth and justice clauses that would have exposed the British Government’s cover-up of their Dirty War in Ireland.

Critics have every right to put this agreement under the microscope. The critics also have a responsibility to make clear their alternative and how that would have worked. 

Would they have collapsed the Assembly and just handed to the Tories all the powers over welfare, public services and policing – lock, stock and barrel? To the Tory party that wants to introduce water charges and prescriptions charges and increase student fees?

The price of the Union is austerity. Working institutions are the first line of defence. The way to end Tory policies in Ireland is for a Sinn Féin-led government in Dublin and ending partition. 

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An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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