The socialist champagne grapes are turning sour forLabour Party according to David Doran.
“Cllr. Kenehan launched a false and bitter attack through the media last week. I take issue with the falsehoods bandied about by Cllr. Kenehan in regard to Sinn Fein and I wish to set the record straight.
“Labour go to great lengths to portray themselves as the only political party to vote ‘No’ to the bank bailout. This is absolute rubbish! Sinn Fein voted against the Bank Guarantee Scheme brought forward by Brian Lenihan on 17th October 2008. This can easily be verified through the Dáil records. This is the scheme by which the government is now bailing out the banks and that Labour has supported since becoming members of the Government. What Sinn Fein voted for was the Financial Support Bill brought forward by Brian Lenihan on 30 September 2008. Labour did not. That Bill said the Minister could act when there was a threat to the stability of credit institutions in the State, a need to maintain stability of the financial system in the State and the necessity to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of the State.
This legislation was to allow for a Bank Guarantee Scheme to be drawn up and presented to the Dáil if the Minister thought it should be done. Sinn Féin was crystal clear that, though the party had no problem with someone bringing forward a plan, we would not vote for it unless it contained a bank levy, a end to bonuses for bankers, salary cuts for the top bankers, support for mortgage holders under pressure (to include a moratorium on repossessions) and the formation of a state bank. When none of these measures were included in the Bank Guarantee Scheme, Sinn Fein voted ‘No’.
Cllr. Kenehan continued to put his foot in it by insisting that Sinn Fein are hypocritical in their policies North and South, particularly when it comes to education. I will again try to educate my erstwhile Labour colleague by pointing out that from May 2007 to April 2011, Sinn Fein in the North has delivered 53 major capital school projects, representing an investment of £492 million in our schools estate. New capital projects including the regeneration of the former Long Kesh prison site are underway, creating massive employment. Titanic quarter and the Giants causeway developments are other examples. The stadia projects with massive investment in GAA, soccer and rugby grounds have been undertaken – all creating jobs, stimulating growth in the economy because investment rather than cuts in spending is the key.
Sinn Fein have delivered investment of more than £1 billion in improvements to water infrastructure and completion of the £160 million Belfast Sewers Project resulting in top water quality rates and jobs in infrastructure. In fact the engineers who delivered the Belfast Sewer Project were from Gweedore. All achieved without introducing any water charge as proposed by British Direct rule Ministers pre-2007, and before Sinn Fein took the reins of the Government Department introducing them. The average rates bill in the North is £700, which covers the provision of all public services without any additional charges.
“Can Cllr. Kenehan and Labour make that same claim? I think not. Instead, they have chosen to prop up a Fine Gael government intent on targeting the poorest and most vulnerable. Budget 2013 proves this like never before. With the support of Labour, Fine Gael have attacked the youth through cuts to jobseekers allowance, women have had their maternity benefits slashed and the elderly have seen their telephone allowance scrapped. Perhaps the cruelest cut was to families needing assistance with burial costs. From cradle to grave, Fine Gael and Labour have targeted the Irish people. I would strongly suggest that Cllr. Kenehan and his Labour Party colleagues stop and think of the damage they are inflicting, but I fear it is too late for that.”