Sinn Fein councillor, Martin Kenny, has called on the Government to stop its crippling austerity policy as workers and their families are suffering from its fall out and it is destroying commerce.
Cllr Kenny was speaking after the release of the latest Irish League of Credit Union’s “What’s Left? Income Tracker”. The tracker found that more than 1.3 million adults in Ireland have less than €50 left over after paying essential bills each month. Cllr Kenny said, “The information contained in this Credit Union income survey is shocking, but not really surprising and supports information coming from anti-poverty and children’s charities. The income tracker shows in black and white what Sinn Féin has continually argued; we need investment and growth, not more austerity and social spending cuts. Those living on €50 or less a month after paying essential bills now amount to 1.3 million adults, with another 1.9 million living on less than €100 a month after paying essential bills. These people are spending practically all their money on essentials, with virtually nothing left to maintain the local economy.
“The result, our towns are dying with shops laying off staff and empty bars and restaurants, representing gaping wounds in a broken economy, with no real effort being made to mend it. The only effort this Government is making is to please the big bosses in the EU and as Enda Kenny keeps telling us to ‘honour our commitments’ which translates into pouring more money into the legacy debts of defunct banks.” “Looking ahead to this winter, I am extremely worried that households will be under severe pressure to pay heating costs and Christmas expenses. According to the Irish League of Credit Union’s, heating and fuel costs are now the second most essential bill for households. When, if ever will the government wake up and actually see that its austerity programme, with its toxic fall out for commerce, is clearly not working.” Cllr Kenny said it was clear that austerity is destroying commerce and driving people into depression.
“The government needs to focus more on real alternatives and begin helping Ireland’s struggling citizens. We need to focus on creating jobs and getting people off the dole. We need to stimulate our stagnant economy and use the likes of National Pension Fund, with other available funds to begin building again for a better future,” he said.