Gerry Adams’ contradictory statements on health spending prove yet again he has no head for figures, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Fine Gael TD Peter Burke said the most basic grasp of financial management requires a sound understanding of economics, and Gerry Adams displayed further blissful ignorance of this in the Dáil today.
Deputy Burke said: “In its pre-Budget submission, Sinn Féin proposed a budget increase spend of €500m – over €180m short of what was agreed in Budget 2018.
“Today Gerry Adams called for an additional €1.1 billion to be spent in Budget 2018- a figure that was not provided for in his Party’s alternative plan.
“Mr Adams seemed completely unaware that his own party’s figures fell far short of what he was calling for until it was pointed out to him by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
“This is yet another indicator of how the amateur and careless economics of Sinn Féin would ruin the country if they were ever in Government. This is yet another example of Sinn Féin playing politics and again exposes the lack of thought behind any of their policies.
“Budget 2018 delivers better access, more help for families and more supports for disability, mental health, and older and vulnerable people.
“An additional €685million is being allocated to Health in Budget 2018, bringing it up to €15.3 billion- the biggest increase we have seen in a decade, and the biggest health budget the State has ever seen.
“In the run up to and aftermath of this Budget alone, Sinn Féin’s alternative policies have revealed the party to be anti-health, anti-jobs and anti-business, as well as reconfirming their position as the high tax party.
“Their alternative budget proposes €2 billion in tax hikes. With their additional levy on incomes over €100,000 by 7 cent in each euro they would discourage the very kind of high quality jobs we are trying to attract to Ireland.
“For some reason, Sinn Féin don’t appear to hold pensioners in as high a regard as the rest of the population; they have proposed a €5 increase in all working age payments, yet only a €4.50 increase in pension payments.
“In a further bizarre contradiction with their own policy in the North, Sinn Féin suggest we should increase VAT for the tourist sector in the South. While we are used to the ‘two Sinn Féins’, North and South, it is startling to see the disregard they have shown both for border communities and the fact that the fall in the value of sterling has made short breaks here more expensive for British visitors, a crucial demographic for the Irish tourism sector.
“And now they want to cut spending to one of the most important sectors in the country.
“By contrast, Budget 2018 has shown how Fine Gael is safeguarding our national finances and helping to rebalance our economy, overseeing the first jobs led recovery in the history of the state.
“The hapless and irresponsible estimations from Sinn Féin couldn’t be further from the prudent economic management Fine Gael prides itself on.”