Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said “Sinn Féin has the solutions to the cost of living crisis created by the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil partnership.
The Ireland South MEP called for the relaxation of EU state-aid rules that are being used as an excuse by the government not to invest in public services and infrastructure.
Speaking at the launch of her election campaign in the Metropole Hotel in Cork City this evening, Ms Ní Riada said ‘’the bad policies implemented by the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil coalition are consistent with the European political right. They are more concerned with the interests of big business and the wealthy than with the well-being of ordinary people.
“In the EU, we see €13 billion being ring fenced in the next budget for military spending. Here in Ireland, we have a government , supported by Fianna Fáil, that has delivered huge tax breaks to bailed out banks and tax cuts which disproportionately benefit the better off in our society.
“So while the settings are different, both at home and abroad, we are fighting against a political philosophy that diverts funding and resources away from those who need it the most.
“The result for working people is a crushing cost of living crisis. This crisis has developed as a result of an economic recovery that is not delivering for everybody, perpetual chaos in housing and healthcare and a refusal by government to change direction even when they can see the damage caused by their policies.
“Lives have become dominated by uncertainty, anxiety and an inability to plan for a decent future. People are struck down by fear that there will not be enough to go around if the car breaks down or if a family member falls ill.”
Ms Ni Riada said progressive republican policies provide the answers to challenges facing ordinary people today.
“The EU’s restrictive state aid rules are being used as an excuse by our government not to invest in public services and infrastructure.
“These must be relaxed so that Varadkar and Co can no longer hide behind them.
“We need to see investment in social and affordable housing. We need investment in our public hospitals and health services.
“Real investment and progressive budgetary policies are the solutions.
“The privatisation agenda pushed by the European Commission and implemented with great zeal by Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil must be challenged at every turn.”