Belfast Telegraph

Citizens being hit 'island-wide'

Ordinary citizens across the island of Ireland are being hit by the economic policies of British and Irish governments who are failing to put people first, Sinn Fein has claimed.

Donegal TD Pearse Doherty told his party's Ard Fheis in Belfast that working people had "paid enough" to ease the Republic's financial crisis, calling on the Fine Gael/Labour coalition to shift the burden.

Former Stormont Minister Conor Murphy also blamed what he branded the "new Thatcherites in London" for cutting funds to the Northern Ireland Executive and squeezing the welfare system.

The Newry and Armagh MP told the Waterfront Hall conference: "Like many nations we are struggling with the consequences of the global financial crisis. However, our ability to recover on this island is being strangled by anti-people austerity measures being pursued by the governments in Dublin and London."

He added: "The new Thatcherites in London, supported by willing unionist allies here, have also responded to the economic difficulties with slash and burn policies."

Mr Doherty said the EU/IMF bailout deal was crippling the south's economy and its society.

"Having promised to renegotiate this bad deal, the new Fine Gael-Labour government have acquiesced to the spirit and letter of the failed Fianna Fail policy," he said.

"In exchange for EU and IMF loans our so-called partners in Europe are forcing us to starve our domestic economy of the stimulus it needs while pouring billions of tax-payers' monies into toxic banks.

"Only a few short weeks ago Fine Gael and Labour threw another 16.4 billion euros of public money into the banks. Yet in the same month they were promising up to four billion euros in cuts and tax hikes in the December budget.

"For those of you struggling with lower wages, rising prices and the unjust Universal Social Charge, the government is saying that you must pay more; they are saying that you must now pay a new household charge, water charges, property taxes and increased income tax bills. Sinn Fein says that you have paid enough. There is a better way."

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