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10th Oct 2023

Sinn Féin TD rips Budget 2024 to shreds with shocking statistic this country should be ashamed of

Stephen Porzio

Budget 2024

“This is yet another back slapping budget from the Government. ‘Fair play to ourselves.'”

Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway-Walsh has slammed the newly-unveiled Budget 2024 package as “another backslapping budget from the Government”.

Announced on Tuesday afternoon (10 October), Finance Minster Michael McGrath and Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed increases in the minimum wage, the rent tax credit, pensions and cigarette prices (for more on those changes, see here).

However, the financial plan has seen its detractors, with Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty criticising the Government in the Dáil over the decision to give financial relief to landlords alongside the renter’s tax credit.

Following Doherty, his party colleague Conway-Walsh took further aim at the Budget stating that while it “may help some, it will not bring the change that people are demanding”.

This as she accused the Government of constructing the “crisis in housing and in health and many other areas” with its policies.

“They have had 13 long years yet they have failed to deliver for ordinary workers and families,” she said.

“Macroeconomic headlines mean nothing to people who are struggling to keep their heads above water.

“Today as we sit around this chamber, there are 785,000 people living below the poverty line. After housing costs, one in five people are existing, not living, in poverty.

“They include renters, lone parents and children and adults with disabilities. Almost half of all renters are at risk of poverty. One out of every two lone parents are at risk of poverty. 14% are living in consistent poverty.”

Sinn Féin spokesperson rips Budget 2024 to shreds with shocking statistic

Conway-Walsh told the Dail that in Donohoe’s first budget speech back in 2016, he stated that 47,000 new social housing units would be delivered by 2021.

She then accused the Government of being “economically short sighted, stating that “housing has never been a Fine Gael priority.”

“We see from today’s budget it is still not a priority. We know that because only a small fraction of those houses were ever delivered,” she added.

“Had they kept their word, people wouldn’t be locked out of home ownership, rents wouldn’t have sky rocketed, the number of people homeless wouldn’t have doubled.

“As we sit here today, looking at all of the seats in this chamber, we should remember – the number of children without a place to call home today or tonight could fill this chamber 25 times over.”

Referencing comments by Donohoe as he announced Budget 2024 – in which he stated the financial plan aimed to ensure “Ireland is one of the best places on earth in which to be a child” – Conway-Walsh said: “And you say this country is one of the best places on Earth to be a child. Well, tell that to those children.”

In keeping with Doherty and Conway-Walsh’s comments, charity Focus Ireland wrote on Twitter:

“The Government has failed to deliver a children’s Budget 2024 for nearly 4,000 children who are homeless.

“We welcome broad measures to help households cope with the cost-of-living crisis but more should – and could – have been done to help those most at risk

“We are disappointed to see no change in capital investment for housing in Budget 2024. Social housing delivery targets must be met and households stuck in long-term homelessness must be given a fairer share of allocations to ease this deepening human crisis.”

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