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Blog Archive | Finance

Campaign against withdrawal of medical cards continues

Posted on October 22, 2008

As elderly people from all over the country prepared to descend upon Dublin to protest this afternoon at the Government changes to the medical card in the Budget, the issue was once again raised by the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil.

Eamon said: "Is it or is it not the case that the Minister for Health will be able to change the income levels announced yesterday for medical cards without coming back to the House. Is the Govt going to index link the new income limits or not?

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Questions remain after Government stand down on medical cards

Posted on October 21, 2008

Today has seen a spectacular stand-down by the Government on its proposal to abolish the automatic right to a medical card for the over 70s.

The Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD speaking about the decision said: "The announcement by the Taoiseach on revised criteria for eligibility of the over 70s represents a climb-down by a Government on a budgetary issue that is unprecedented in recent decades.

"It is a particular political humiliation for the Minister for Health, Mary Harney, who devised the scheme and the Minister for Finance who made it a central part of his first Budget."

Labour believes the Government should have scrapped the original proposal and stuck with the principle of universal access to medical cards for all those over 70.

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Taoiseach which of these cuts are you most embarrassed by?

Posted on October 15, 2008

Following yesterday's Budget, it is clear that the more vulnerable in our society will be hit hard in its aftermath. From the pensioners who will lose their medical cards, to the young school child who will be taught in classes which rank among the largest in Europe, to families who will have to find €1500 each year just to register their child to college. There are many more hard-hitting attacks which are just too numerous to mention here but you can read a list compiled by our Social and Family Affairs Spokesperson Roisin Shortall in our media centre.

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Why is high-risk money covered by bank guarantee?

Posted on October 08, 2008

It is a week since the emergency legislation was brought in to provide a State guarantee for the banks. When it was brought to the House we were told the Government would bring in a scheme this week to set down the conditions under which that guarantee was provided.

Now we find the scheme is not finalised and it could be next week before we see the terms of that scheme. This was the issue raised by Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore this morning during Leaders' Questions in the Dáil.

"We do not know what has been guaranteed, we do not know what the terms and conditions are and we do not know what is coming back to the taxpayer in return for the guarantee," he told the Dáil.

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Full cost of Cowenomics finally being revealed

Posted on October 03, 2008

Yesterday evening the exchequer returns were described as calamitous by the Labour Party Deputy Leader and Spokesperson on Finance Joan Burton.

In a fraught week which has seen the Dáil underwriting a banking guarantee of €400 billion, now we learn that Ireland will have a current budget deficit of almost €3 billion, an exchequer deficit of €11.5 billion and a General Government Deficit of 5.5% of a falling GDP.

She said: "The full cost of four years of Cowenomics is finally being revealed. The common thread running through the banking crisis and the fiscal crisis is how Brian Cowen's property boom built up an unsustainable house of cards, which is now collapsing around all of us. The collapse in tax revenues is unprecedented."

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Financial crisis around the boardroom table and kitchen table

Posted on October 02, 2008

The phenomenal rise in unemployment over the last year was once again raised by Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore in the Dáil during Order of Business this morning.

"While this week we have been here addressing the financial crisis which was in the boardrooms of the banks of the country, there is a financial crisis of a different kind but no less serious which is around the kitchen tables of the 80,000 people who have lost their jobs in this country since this time last year

"I want to ask the Tanaiste what plans does she have; (or does she have any) does she plan to bring to the House to address the problems faced now by people who have become unemployed.

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What are we being asked to guarantee?

Posted on October 01, 2008

Once again the banks' guarantee scheme has dominated proceedings in the Dáil. During Leaders' Questions this morning the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore asked the Government 'what are we being asked to guarantee?

He said: We are being asked as a country to be guarantor for the banks and put up the deeds of the country as security in doing so. During the course of today we will be going through the small print of what that guarantee amounts to and there are a number of things about the small print that are of very serious concern to the Labour Party."

Eamon pressed the Government to answer a number of questions:

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"Tax payers have been left carrying the can for a decade of corporate greed" - says Gilmore

Posted on September 30, 2008

Many questions need to be answered in relation to the Banks Guarantee Scheme announced early today, one thing that is clear is that the latitude being offered to the banks by the taxpayer, must now in turn be extended to mortgage holders, small businesses and other customers of the banks.

In the Dáil today the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD pressed the Taoiseach to explain to the house the extraordinary action taken by the Government this morning.

"Tax payers have been left carrying the can for a decade of corporate greed," Eamon told the Dáil. "I want to hear the nuts and bolts of this deal, what are the conditions, what are the banks being asked to return and what is in it for the public and the taxpayer?

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Labour's New Deal: Key Proposals for Economic Recovery

Posted on September 29, 2008

Joan Burton TD

"The Government is in an increasing state of panic about the economy", Eamon Gilmore leader of the Labour Party said today as he launched' Labour's New Deal: Proposals for Economic Recovery'.

The document contains a ten-point plan which Labour is bringing forward in reaction to the developing economic crisis. It is a strategic programme for Ireland's economic recovery with combating rising unemployment as its top priority.

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What is Government going to do to help those who have lost their job

Posted on September 24, 2008

Today the Dáil resumed following the summer recess with the economy and job losses top of the agenda. Speaking during Leaders' Questions, the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD asked the Government what new initiatives are being implemented to put people back to work.

"Since [Cowen] became Taoiseach 45, 628 have lost their jobs in this country. That's about 300 a day on average since you became Taoiseach. We are being told that people are losing their jobs so fast now that your department of family and social affairs cannot keep up with the applications for social welfare payments and there is something like 30,000 people who have lost their jobs who a re waiting for their social welfare payments to be processed.

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