Local Minister Alan Kelly has stated that the Budget has been tough but fair and balanced, protecting those on low incomes, prioritising education and containing new measures to help the unemployed.
“We all knew that this was going to be a tough budget, that difficult decisions would have to be made, but it was important to me and the Labour Party that the core areas of interest such as education and the protection of the vulnerable have been prioritised”.
“I am pleased to see the weekly Social Protection and state pension rates maintained and the preservation of carer’s payments. I am also delighted to see the retention of the pupil teacher ratio and the level of SNAs in primary schools: In the context of a national debt that is increasing by €900 per second or by €75 million per day, it is an important achievement that the pupil teacher ratio will remained unchanged”. The Minister continued: “This is one example of the important work which Labour is doing in Government, and shows that we are listening to the concerns which people have about the most important issues”.
“I have been in constant contact with my Party colleagues throughout the budget process, ensuring that the concerns of my constituents have been heard. This is what I and the Labour Party entered Government to do and we will continue to ensure that fairness and balance are at the heart of Government decision making.
Given the financial difficulties the country finds itself in, I am pleased that Labour has ensured fairness and balance in the expenditure statement”, concluded the Minister