Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has described Budget 2021 as a missed opportunity, saying that there was no relief for people who saw their PUP payment cut, no relief for renters, no right to a pension at 65, nothing delivered for families paying the highest childcare costs in Europe, and little ambition to get to grips with the crisis in our health service.
Teachta Crowe said that this Budget was an opportunity for the new Government to show that it was not devoted to preserving the same inequalities that were evident when Fine Gael were in office, and have failed in their first real test.
Teachta Crowe said:
“We are experiencing a public health emergency like no other, and a crisis in our acute hospitals. This required a response never seen before, but unfortunately this budget lacks ambition and falls far short. Rising hospital trolley figures are a daily feature and we are running out of critical cares beds but the government will add just 66 new ICU beds next year. This falls far short of where we need to be, which is why Sinn Féin set out a plan to deliver 100 next year and 50 each year after. This is what is required for a country our size.
“The Budget failed to address the extortionate high costs of childcare in Ireland at all. Rather than wash our hands of a system that is bleeding families dry, Sinn Féin set out a detailed, fully costed and deliverable plan to reform our childcare sector to be better for parents and providers. This would help support parents by putting money back in their pockets, and reducing the eye watering fees which have spiralled out of control.
“Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien delivered the same type of budget that we saw from Eoghan Murphy. The new money that Minister O’Brien has secured will only build a measly 993 new social and affordable homes. A drop in the ocean for what Dublin needs, not to talk about the rest of the country.
“Budget 2021 will not address the housing crisis. It will not address the health crisis in our A&E Departments or on our waiting lists. It will not address the childcare costs that are crippling families. It also fails to deliver for workers who are out of work due to COVID restrictions or those who are looking to retire at 65 like they were promised.
“This Government had an opportunity to show that it was not devoted to preserving the same inequalities like when Fine Gael were in office, but have failed in their first real test. In doing so, they have badly let down hundreds of thousands of workers, families and small business owners. Sinn Féin would have given certainty to workers, families and small business that things can be better, fairer and that they can get through this crisis.”