Tipp TD slams Government as Sinn Fein highlight Budget priorities
On Monday Sinn Féin launched its alternative budget that would, if the party was in government, support workers and families to help them get through this crisis.
Tipperary Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne stated: “In Co Tipperary we have seen businesses collapse, laid off workers have their supports cut, health services stretched to the limit ahead of a winter with Covid, a lack of mental health services, a continuing housing crisis and a lack of capital investment.
"The Government has failed us. It has failed businesses, families and the vulnerable. The Government will not provide the public hospital system we need. Tipperary’s five ICU beds are already under pressure; our mental health system is not considered worth investing in.
“Tipperary’s housing waiting list shows how secure accommodation is being denied to so many, our family farms are calling out for help, and we are being side-lined in favour of the regional economic hubs.
For our families we would:
- Deliver 12,000 real social homes, 4,000 affordable rental homes and 4,000 affordable purchase homes.
- Introduce a refundable tax credit putting one month’s rent back into renters’ pockets.
- Increase the Qualified Child Increase for over 12s and under 12s by €5 and €2.50 respectively
- Increase funding for disability services to meet costs of Covid-19 including day services, respite, personal assistance hours - €150 million current and €20 million capital.
- Increase the pay of workers to the living wage of €12.30 per hour and cutting the cost of childcare by one third in 2021.
- Increase working age social welfare payments, including farm assist, by €5 per week.
- Increase social welfare payments for people with disabilities by €10 per week
For our workers and businesses, we would:
- Reverse the cut to the PUP and introduce Sinn Féin’s Wage Support Scheme throughout the first quarter, reviewing at that stage to determine the supports required for the remainder of the year.
- Extend grants to SMEs bringing them up to €25,000 for seriously affected sectors and €12,000 for those moderately effected.
- Inject an additional €200 million into the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund so that local authorities can begin to reverse regional imbalance and neglect by accessing capital to improve their infrastructure and create jobs.
In terms of health we propose to:
- Deliver a proper winter plan for our health services and provide funding to deal with dangerously expanding waiting lists, disability services, cancer care and
- Recruit additional 2,500 doctors, nurses, consultants, and allied health professionals to safely staff hospitals and give workers a break.
Increase the annual Carer Support Grant (formerly Respite Care Grant) to €2,000.
- Increase funding for disability services to meet costs of Covid-19 including day services, respite, personal assistance hours.
For our Farming and Agri Sector, we would:
- Introduce a New Cow Suckler Scheme Reboot €300 for the first cow/calf pair, €150 for the second cow/calf pair, and €80 for the remainder up to 100.
- Extend and invest in extra places for GLAS
- Increase Sheep Welfare Scheme to €20 per ewe
“The people of Tipperary need a fair budget that also strengthens our economy and provides the services our public deserve," Deputy Browne stated.“Our budget document shows that it is possible to address the shortcomings that have resulted from successive governments. This is the result of the failed policies of past governments – failed policies that this current chaotic FF/FG/Green coalition continues to pursue – we will see it in the upcoming budget.
"In Co Tipperary we have continuously sought to get the mental health services we deserve. But despite having a Government TD in place, nothing has happened. If Sinn Féin were in government, we would provide free counselling upon GP referral, invest an additional €49 million in mental health."