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The Government must protect vulnerable low and middle income families- Crowe
Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has said that the Government’s social and economic policies are designed to protect the rich, and they are negatively impacting the majority of ordinary people.
Crowe was commenting after Social Justice Ireland (SJI) recently released their ‘What Would Real Recovery Look Like? Securing Economic Development, Social Equity and Sustainability’ report. This report clearly shows that the Government’s policies have failed to tackle the big social and economic issues that Ireland is facing.
Deputy Crowe said:
“The Government continue to tell us that the worst is over and things are getting better, but most low and middle income workers and families are struggling more than ever.
“Since this Government has come to power workers and their families have had to suffer huge cuts in their salaries, if they are lucky enough not to be one of the 426,000 now unemployed.
“The Government has also seen fit to implement cuts in child benefit, the mobility allowance, and home care hours, and they have introduced a family home tax and a water tax.
“These policy driven cuts and taxes are affecting low and middle income families the hardest. This report clearly shows that the Government is unfairly focusing on cuts and tax increases which affect the most vulnerable and least able to pay.
“The Social Justice Ireland report outlines how many of the Government’s initiatives since the current crisis began have been deeply flawed and attacked struggling workers and families.
“What is extremely frustrating is that there are alternatives to the Government’s present approach. For example, by introducing a wealth tax of 1% on all assets over €1 million, the Government would not have to introduce its crippling home tax.
“The Government must protect vulnerable low and middle income families, and make fair budget adjustments through a more fair and just taxation policy.”
Below is an Easter speech delivered by Deputy Seán Crowe in New York (Queens on Sunday and Mineola Nassau County on Monday)
Can I begin by thanking you for allowing me the privilege to address you on this the 97th anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916.
Though out Ireland and in other parts of the world, Irish Republicans are gathering, remembering our patriot dead and renewing our commitment to achieve Independence and Self- Determination for Ireland and its people.
We remember with pride particularly those who have given their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom.
To their families, friends and comrades we extend our continuing sympathy and solidarity.
The 1916 Proclamation explicitly praises Irish America …” having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.”
It has been said many times that the Rising and the subsequent Tan War wouldn’t have occurred without the support of Irish America.
It was crucial then and it is crucial now.
In the 1970’s Irish America supported oppressed communities in the north.
Many children were brought to the USA on holidays designed to provide relief from the reality of conflict and British military occupation.
In the 1980’s Irish America was in the frontline of the efforts to end structured political and religious discrimination in employment through the MacBride Principles Campaign.
Irish America successfully raised justice issues like the Birmingham 6 and the Guildford 4, the use of plastic bullets and internment and the conditions in the H Blocks.
But it was with the development of the peace process that you and others in the Irish diaspora around the globe played a key part.
The decision by President Bill Clinton to become involved in the search for peace was down to the hard work of Irish Americans.
Lobbying by Irish America saw Clinton commit to playing a more active role in working to ‘achieve a just and lasting settlement of the conflict’ in Ireland if he was elected.
He committed his Presidency to the appointment of a special US envoy to the north because he believed that such a move ‘could be a catalyst in the effort to secure a lasting peace.’
Up to that point the British had been largely successful in arguing internationally that the conflict in Ireland was an internal matter for Britain and that everyone else should keep their noses out of it.
Successive US administrations had acquiesced in this.
Immediately after the 1992 election ‘Irish Americans for Clinton’ became ‘Americans for a New Irish Agenda.’
They undertook the important task of pressing the White House to implement the election promises.
The British tried to persuade President Clinton to row back from his commitments.
The day after his inauguration a British government spokesperson said that its priority would be to have the idea of the envoy scrapped.
Irish America persevered and President Clinton kept his commitments.
The rest as they say is history.
But it is a history which has a direct bearing on decisions still being taken and ongoing efforts to ensure the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
Irish America has remained a constant source of support and encouragement for the peace process.
It has consistently contributed to the efforts to overcome each of the crises that have bedevilled the peace process, kept the White House and US political system engaged with the process, and never given up on the democratic imperative of Irish reunification.
The struggle for peace and justice and equality and freedom in Ireland is not over.
Ireland is still partitioned.
We need Irish America to remain focussed on the peace process.
We need Irish America to persuade political opinion in America that a United Ireland is in the best strategic interests of the USA.
We need Irish America and the USA to use their enormous influence with the British and with unionism to move them in that direction.
Of course, the main responsibility for persuading unionists that Irish unity will work for them is primarily for those of us who live on the island and who want that objective.
Building confidence, tearing down myths and fears, creating new opportunities, is a job for everyone who wants peace and justice and freedom in Ireland.
I am optimistic about the future and that we will see a united Ireland in our lifetime
I believe that we can build through reconciliation a new partnership in which we pursue the happiness, peace, and prosperity for all our people.
We need to unite orange and green through mutual tolerance and respect and build a new society – a new Republic - that is democratic, inclusive and rooted in the principles of the Proclamation of 1916.
A United Ireland makes sense politically and economically.
We want to see an All Ireland poll initiated as envisaged under the Good Friday Agreement during the lifetime of the next Dáil and Assembly. We need to talk about the benefits of a United Ireland for all our people and equally important what type of inclusive Ireland that needs to come about.
And we need your continued support and solidarity to make this a reality.
I am proud to stand here today a Sinn Féin TD, an elected representative of a party that will in our lifetime bring about a United Ireland.
Our membership has doubled in the last year.
But we gather here at a time of great challenge in Ireland.
Hundreds of thousands of our people are struggling to survive. Tens of thousands of our most talented young people are leaving our shores.
The largest exodus of Irish people since the Great Hunger… An Gorta Mor
Partition created two conservative states on our island. It served the needs of the political elites, instead of the needs of ordinary citizens across Ireland. That is why the southern establishment were happy to pay lip service to a united Ireland and why some continue to do so.
Republicans have a different vision.
The Good Friday Agreement has levelled the political playing field. Unionism no longer has a veto over Irish unity.
Ireland as a nation can only truly prosper if we are at peace with ourselves as a people.
It means overcoming the historic fracture between Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter.
In the Ireland of 2013, it means building a pluralist, ethnically and culturally diverse and inclusive society that embraces all its citizens.
We are on the road to freedom.
The pace of change will be down to how hard we collectively work in achieving our goals.
So my message here today is to get involved and to work even harder if you can for Ireland.
A Chairde let us go forward together, united, in greater numbers, to achieve our historic task a United Ireland and the Republic envisioned in the 1916 Proclamation.
An Phoblacht Abú!
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Seán has been to the fore in fighting for proper resources for Tallaght Hospital and has taken part in the ongoing campaign for a safe and reliable transport system for the city. Read more...