10 September 2009 Edition
Government lying over lack of warnings on economy - Morgan
Adams slams government and calls for general election
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has called on the Government to seek a mandate for its policies. Speaking in Dublin on Wednesday, Adams described the Fianna Fáil/Green Party coalition as ‘incompetent and inept’ and that the people are demanding a change.
Speaking to the media outside Leinster House, where he was accompanied by party Vice President Mary Lou McDonald, Dáil group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD and Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD, Gerry Adams said:
“The government’s time is up. They have constantly misled people about the origins of the economic crisis and the cost and implications of their policies.
“They were warned about what was about to happen – they were warned by Sinn Féin repeatedly.
“The people and politics that caused this crisis are the same who are now presenting us with NAMA, the savage cuts from An Bord Snip and the Commission on Taxation report.
“This government has also presented the people with a referendum on exactly the same Lisbon Treaty that the people rejected.
“It is time for a change. A general election is needed now. If the government really believes in its proposals then it should seek a mandate from the people. These propositions are so unfair and will have such a devastating effect on society, including the next generation, that any Government wanting to go down this road needs to have the courage to go before the people.
“Sinn Féin opposes NAMA. We believe nationalisation of the main banks will deal with the banking crisis in the fairest way for the taxpayer.
“We oppose the recommendations of An Bord Snip. We do not believe health, education and children’s services should be cut to pay for this mess. We do not believe households should be taxed to raise the revenue needed to fix the economy, when those who have the ability to pay more have not been asked to do so.
“Let the people have their say – call a general election now.”
Meanwhile Finance Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD accused the Government and Brian Cowen in particular, of consistently lying to the Irish people when they claim that they were not warned of the dangers inherent in their economic approach over the last decade.
“Sinn Féin repeatedly tackled government Ministers regarding their failure to take any measures to stop the escalation of house prices. We questioned government Ministers regarding the development of a property bubble and we regularly and consistently warned the Government that the reliance on property and consumption taxes could not be sustained and that the tax base needed to be broadened.
“We called for the ending of tax breaks which were fuelling the property bubble and for the introduction of a tax on second homes to curb growing house prices which were seeing investors price first time buyers out of the market. We opposed the cutting of capital gains tax on the basis that it would fuel the property bubble and make it more profitable to speculate in property than to run a business.
SINN FÉIN WARNED OF DANGERS
“Sinn Féin opposed proposals by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour in advance of the 2007 election to cut taxes on the basis that taxes had already been cut to unsustainable levels and we opposed proposals to cut PRSI on the same basis.
“Any examination of Sinn Féin’s record in the Dáil from 2002 - 2007 in particular will verify these facts. All of our TDs are on record raising these points on numerous occasions.
“Fianna Fáil is telling bare faced lies to get themselves through the next election. In advance of the 2007 election they told the electorate that the economy was fine, that it was based on solid foundations when it is clear that this simply could not be the case. Today they are lying to the public when they say that nobody was warning of the pending economic crisis – they do this to hide their own culpability in the crisis we are facing. They continue to lie to the public about the implications of NAMA.
“Unfortunately, rather than consider or even listen to our views, we were described as economic illiterates and disregarded. We now see the consequences of that attitude in the extent of the economic recession. The fact is that Fianna Fáil has neither the mandate nor the moral authority to implement NAMA, the McCarthy report or the Commission on Taxation report. They cannot be trusted, nor do they have the competency, to steer this economy in the right direction and a general election should be called immediately.”
NAMA an attempt to ‘legalise corruption’ says Ó Caoláin
It’s time for a general election
SPEAKING at Sinn Féin’s pre-Dáil return political think-in, held on Friday 4 September, Dáil group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin slammed the Government’s proposed NAMA legislation as “an attempt to legalise corruption”. He said the recent opinion polls show the Government has no mandate to implement NAMA and he declared: “It is time to give the people their say. It is time for change. It is time for a general election.”
Ó Caoláin pledged that the Sinn Féin TDs and senator will do everything in their power to prevent the passage of NAMA, including, if necessary, a systematic disruption of Dáil business.
The agenda for the party’s annual think-in focused on issues facing the state which need urgent attention, including NAMA, the Lisbon Treaty, the McCarthy Report, the Commission on Taxation and the Budget.
Sinn Féin believes that the time is now up for the current government and the party also intends to focus on preparing for the possibility of a general election.
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:
“The poll this week shows a plummeting in support for this government and much of that is down to their mishandling of the economy and inept proposals to get out of the mess they have caused. This government does not have a mandate either to introduce NAMA or to put through another budget. In fact, it is clear that the public is demanding that opposition parties use every tool available to them to prevent the creation of NAMA.”
The Cavan/Monaghan TD declared that Sinn Féin will use every opportunity available to us to stop NAMA.
“This is one of those times when the onus is on opposition politicians to do everything we can to prevent the passage of a piece of legislation in the interests of ordinary citizens. If that requires instigating the ongoing disruption of Dáil business then that is what Sinn Féin will do.”
He accused the Fianna Fáil leadership of still being in the pockets of developers and speculators.
“Fianna Fáil wants to pay back reckless developers for decades of corrupt payments and brown envelopes. They must be stopped. For 12 years, Fianna Fáil presided over one of the most corrupted property bubbles in the world. They have been involved in every major development tribunal before the state. NAMA is an attempt to make the taxpayer carry the cost of that corruption.”
Ó Caoláin said the legislation itself is deeply suspect – paying ‘long-term’ economic values for land, allowing compulsory purchase orders of land adjacent to developments, putting forward taxpayers’ money for developers to finish projects and allowing the minister to increase ‘independent’ valuations of loans.
“NAMA is an attempt to legalise corruption,” he said.
“Ordinary families struggling with cutbacks and job losses won’t and should not stand for this madness. It is clear that the most appropriate solution to the banking crisis is nationalising the banks of systematic importance. The most appropriate response to the overall economic crisis is stimulating the economy, not further depressing it through cutbacks as proposed in the McCarthy Report.
“It is time to give the people their say. It is time for change. It is time for a general election.”