AT ITS MONTHLY meeting Sligo County Council unanimously adopted a motion proposed by Cllr Declan Bree calling on the government to reverse its budget cutbacks.
Speaking at the meeting Cllr Bree said: “The budget imposed by Fine Gael and Labour has scapegoated the underprivileged, the unemployed, young people, old people and the sick.
“As tax payers money continues to be used to fund the bondholders and vampire banks, our public services are being undermined and run into the ground.
“The abolition of the telephone allowance will leave many elderly people isolated and lonely. The cut to the bereavement grant will go down as one of the nastiest cuts in the history of the state. By cutting the amount of welfare paid to under 25s the government has cynically ensured that the flow of emigration will continue and will destroy families and communities across the country. Attacks on illness benefit, maternity benefit and increased prescription charges, and the reduced availability of medical cards, are vindictively aimed at people who are already struggling.
“The role played by the Labour Party in demonising the unemployed and victimising the sick and the elderly, represents a huge betrayal of the people they once represented. It makes a mockery of the Labour Party and of its traditions and the socialist principles it once stood for.
“It is not the case that we are all in this crisis together. That is nonsense. The past number of years has seen a growth in inequality with those in the top seeing a huge increase in wealth and profits, yet this government has systematically chosen to put the burden of the crisis on those who can least afford it.
Cllr Bree then proposed ‘That Sligo County Council expresses its dismay at the cut backs being imposed by the Government through the recent Budget, including the decision to (a) increase prescription charges for medical card holders; (b) abolish the Telephone Allowance for the elderly; (c) abolish the Bereavement Grant; (d) reduce the Jobseekers Allowance for young citizens; and further the Council resolves to call on the government to reverse the cut backs.’ The motion was seconded by Cllr Sean MacManus and was unanimously adopted.