Donegal North East Deputy Joe McHugh has confirmed he is one of a dozen Fine Gael Deputies putting pressure on the Government to reverse the cut to the respite care grant. But contrary to some suggestions over the weekend in the broadcast media in Dublin he will not be voting against the government this week.
His comments come against a background of increasing anger in Donegal about last week’s budget which has, it has been claimed, disproportionately hit working families.
According to the Co-ordinator of the St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre, Mary Crossan said the budget “doesn’t give anyone any hope”.
She listed some of the cuts, from reductions in child benefit, to taxing of maternity benefits, to cuts in respite aid for carers, calling the budget regressive, anti-family and anti-women.
“It will be a very, very difficult year for a lot of families, older people, a lot of carers,” she said. “There’s nothing in it for them, nothing to instil any confidence or any faith in this government.”
Inishowen Councillor Jack Murray repeated his assertion that another €250 increase in student fees means that Fine Gael and Labour have decided on emigration as a policy choice, that it suits their agenda to force young people from our shores.
“Worst of all, the cutting of jobseekers’ benefits to six months is a signal to young workers; not only that the government says that they have no future here but that they should emigrate earlier.”
Speaking after handing out leaflets outside a local supermarketat the weekend Buncrana councillor, Ciaran McLaughlin described those in government as ‘overpaid bullies’
He commented: “The decision to tax the family home is an inexcusable move at a time when so many families are struggling to pay mortgages.
“The cuts to child benefit fly directly in the face of Labour’s pre-election promises,even a small family will be hard hit by their decision.
“The increase in motor tax is another burden on families who need transport to get to work or school.
“Fine gael and Labour promised to promote jobs and protect the most vulnerable,budget 2013 will do the very opposite.”
The Buncrana councillor concluded: “Successive governments have targeted the most vulnerable year after year. There is deep anger at this government. A change of political and economic direction is urgently needed.
“ Most urgent of all is a change of government“