Irish Republican News · December 3, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Doherty enters Dail as IMF/EU rules are revealed

Newly elected TD Pearse Doherty has taken his seat in the Dublin parliament, where he will be Sinn Fein’s new Finance spokesperson.

Speaking as he arrived at Leinster House to take his seat after winning the Donegal South West by-election by a huge margin, Sinn Fein’s Pearse Doherty expressed his “sincere thanks” to the people of Donegal South West for putting their faith in him to represent them in the Dail.

“It is a huge honour,” he said.

“I want to reiterate to those voters that I fully intend to honour the manifesto on which I fought the by-election campaign.

“I am very proud to be joining my fellow Sinn Fein TDs today in what is the only real political opposition in Leinster House.”

Mr Doherty’s arrival into the Dail came as the details of the government’s highly controversial 85 billion euro bailout deal were published.

At a press conference in Dublin as Mr Doherty arrived at the parliament, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the people of Donegal South West had “clearly endorsed Sinn Fein’s proposals for a better, fairer way forward. They have signalled that the Government must go.

“This Government has no mandate to impose the terrible deal it has negotiated with the IMF and EU.

“The interest payments alone will cripple our public finances for years.

“Any new government should refuse to honour the terms of the IMF/EU deal and Sinn Fein will seek a mandate in the General Election to renegotiate it.”

Under the terms of the bailout agreement, the tranches of loans from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to keep the 26 County state afloat will only be paid over if severe targets are met -- and to strict deadlines.

Among the conditions being imposed are that public sector workers face salary cuts unless savings targets are not men within just nine months. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan claimed the government had no option but to accept the terms.

Other conditions attached to the deal are:

* Every week, the government must tell the IMF and the EU what money it is taking in and spending.

* The banks must reveal what loans they’ve given out every week.

* The numbers and salaries of all those working in the public sector must be disclosed every three months.

* The banks must give detailed information on deposits every month, including how long deposits will stay in the banks and whether they’re from householders, companies or other banks.

* The banks must state how much debt they have falling due over the next 36 months on a monthly basis.

* Certain professions, including lawyers, doctors and pharmacists will face radical changes within nine months.

* The State will have to sell off its stakes in Irish banks.

The document goes on to spell out the need for cutbacks of 6 billion euro in 2011, 3.6 billion euro in 2012, and another 3.1 billion in 2013.

Water charges will be introduced earlier than expected in 2012 or 2013, according to the documents. Property tax will be gradually increased on a yearly basis once it is introduced in Budget 2011.

Mr Doherty said he had been given “a very clear mandate to oppose the savage anti-people budget that this Government is planning, to oppose cuts to public services and social welfare and to oppose IMF interference in Ireland.”

He said the platform on which he stood was one which advocated a better, fairer way for Ireland.

“Sinn Fein is the only party putting forward a constructive alternative in the Dail.

“We have advocated a recovery programme that involves stimulating the economy, creating jobs, protecting the most vulnerable in society and ensuring that those who can afford to pay their fair share do so.

“It is time to change the direction of Irish politics. It is time to end cronyism and corruption and to reform our political institutions.”

Today he accused Fine Gael of “plagiarising” Fianna Fail’s draconian 2011 budget plan as the main opposition parties set out their own proposals for the 26-County finances ahead of Tuesday’s announcements by the government.

“The Fine Gael pre-Budget submission is everything you would expect from Fianna Fail -- social welfare cuts, cuts to public sector workers, property taxes and support for water charges,” Mr Doherty said.

“The most shocking part of this submission is Fine Gael’s subservience to the 2014 deadline which the European Commission has already accepted is unrealistic for Ireland. Not only have Fine Gael subscribed to the 15 billion euro in cuts but they have reinforced their policy to meet the Stability and Growth Pact by 2014, at a time when the future of the State has been mortgaged to bail out banks.

“This shows complete irresponsibility.

“If the Fine Gael party is to lead the next Government we will continue on the same track that Fianna Fail has led us on and people should be worried.”

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© 2010 Irish Republican News