Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has said that the coming Dáil term must see fairness returned to the centre of the budget setting process. He was speaking ahead of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party ‘Think-in’ which begins tomorrow in Sutton’s Marine Hotel.
Deputy Martin commented, “Last year, we watched as individual Government ministers spent the autumn flying kites about what might or might not make it into the budget in December. It was a pointless, infuriating and damaging process that served only to terrify some of the most vulnerable people in society. It also preceded the introduction of one of the most unfair and regressive budgets in many years.
“This year, despite assurances that we would see more Government cohesion, the process of leaking and spinning about the budget has begun again in earnest. Once again, different sections of society are targeted for briefings about how hard they will be hit and can now look forward to three months of doubt and uncertainty.
“As we prepare for the budget, Fianna Fáil will do what no opposition party has done in preparation for a budget in many years. We will focus on coming up with fair and affordable alternatives. Like last year, we will publish a fully costed alternative budget that continues the work we have already done in meeting the deficit reduction targets agreed with our international partners, but we will do so in a way that protects the most vulnerable and supports economic recovery.
“This week’s meeting of the Parliamentary Party is an important part of that process as we listen to the views of outside experts and debate the many issues involved. This year, we will be joined by councillors and Local Area Representatives from Dublin City and Region, ensuring that our plans for the coming term are fully informed by the concerns and challenges facing the capital.”