Wednesday, December 23, 2009

éirígí Tír Chonaill launch Christmas campaign against budget cuts

Tir Chonaill éirígí spokesperson Micheál Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig has claimed that the cutbacks imposed by Fianna Fáil and the Greens in the recent budget will see poverty levels escalate rapidly and will result in increased poverty related illnesses and deaths.

MacGiolla Easbuig was speaking as éirígí Tír Chonaill launched their Christmas campaign against the cutbacks. The first step of the campaign was the erection of a number of billboards in various locations in the west of the county. This will be followed by a leaflet campaign in the run up to Christmas.

MacGiolla Easbuig said: "The end result of the latest series of cuts in pay, social welfare, health and education is that poverty levels in this state will rise significantly. For tens of thousands of Irish families who survive on low pay and social welfare, this Christmas and the new year is set to be one of misery and extreme hardship as the effects of these cuts start to hit home."

He added: "There are now more than 21,000 people unemployed in this county as a result of the greed and failures of this administration and their cronies in big business yet they have failed to take any action to help these people and their families. This budget does absolutely nothing to create jobs. Indeed the jobless figures will continue to rise as a result of this budget. For the long term unemployed, as well as cutting their basic allowances they have now taken away the much needed Christmas bonus. For the thousands of people who have lost their job over the past year and who have seen their incomes plummet as a result, this administration has heaped yet more misery on them by now slashing their incomes even further by reducing their welfare rates."

"While the wealthy political and business elite who escaped untouched by this budget continue to enjoy their riches and live lavish and luxurious lifestyles, these low income families will struggle throughout 2010 and beyond to keep a roof over their heads, to heat their homes, pay their bills and to feed and clothe their children. Increased poverty, coupled with yet further cuts in essential health services, will lead to increased poverty related illnesses and deaths. Those politicians that voted for this budget will share direct responsibility for the poverty related illnesses and deaths that are now inevitable."

He concluded: "Fianna Fáil and the Green party may think it acceptable to target the weakest and most vulnerable in society, including carers and the disabled, in order to bail out the banks and maintain the political and business elite in the wealthy lifestyles that they currently enjoy but the majority of people do not. We launched this campaign to send a clear and unequivocal message to this administration. We will not lie down and accept these savage cutbacks. It's time for the fightback to begin."

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