In Ireland as in London
For all that we have been reading about the vote in the House of Commons last night which has produced many column inches in the print media, and many many images and verbal pictures on websites around the world, we must remember that it is not just in the United Kingdom that politicians say one thing and do another.
Last night, in Dáil Éireann, many TDs failed to vote against the social welfare cuts that have been introduced there in the Social Welfare Bill. According to Sinn Féin TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, four Fine Gael TDs including Deputy Leader, failed to defend their constituents against the cuts.
He also accused a number of Dáil Deputies of breaking promises made to The Poor Can’t Pay* campaign.
Aengus Ó Snodaigh said:
I want to condemn the pairing that occurred during the vote on the Social Welfare Bill yesterday evening. Four Fine Gael TDs failed to defend their constituents against savage social welfare cuts when they failed to oppose the Bill during yesterday’s vote. Included were the party’s Deputy Leader James Reilly and former Spokesperson on Social Protection Olwyn Enright.
Deputy Reilly has been doing a lot of talking on media airwaves this week about how outraged he was by the unfairness of the budget but when push came to shove he didn’t oppose the social welfare bill.
It was just two months ago that Fine Gael announced to the Irish public that they were withdrawing pairing support for all important votes. Evidently the fate of thousands of job seekers, carers, widows, people with disabilities and lone parents isn’t a priority for Fine Gael. read the rest here.
The age of austerity looks set to be a time where politicians make cuts – not just to the budgets of nations but to the promises that they made to the electorates that voted for them.
* The Poor Can’t Pay campaign supporters include Barnardo’s, SIPTU, Comhairle Náisiúnta na mBan in Éirinn / National Women’s Council of Ireland, Age Action Ireland, Focus Ireland, Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed, unite the union, mandate trade union, Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Simon Communities of Ireland, chilren’s rights alliance, the Irish Traveller Movement, Free Legal Advice Centres, USI, amongst others.
- Irish coalition set to win crucial austerity budget vote (guardian.co.uk)
- Two controversial votes, two different expressions of anger | Henry McDonald (guardian.co.uk)