Socialist Party councillor Mick Barry this morning slammed Fine Gael’s “Reinventing Government” propoals for public sector “reform” as a Thatcherite document which would privatise Ireland’s health service and push unemployment over the 500,000 mark.
He also challenged the Labour Party to explain to their voters how they could go into a coalition government with a party that promotes such a hard-line right-wing agenda.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, promoting the policy document on weekend radio, said that Fine Gael would abolish the HSE and allow private insurance companies to tender to operate hospitals.
Cllr Barry said this morning: “Fine Gael’s proposals promote the greatest shift towards privatisation of health services in the entire history of the state. The majority of Irish people do not want health services to be run on a for profit basis. These proposals must be rejected.”
Cllr Barry said that Fine Gael’s plan to abolish 145 state bodies and axe 30,000 public sector jobs would push unemployment over the 500,000-mark in the state.
He said: “There is a multiplier effect to axing 30,000 jobs and cutting this number of jobs out of the public sector would have a huge knock on effect on private sector employment pushing unemployment over the half million mark. The reality is that we need more teachers, more nurses and more social workers not less public sector workers. We need job creation not the butchering of jobs.”
He added: “With the demise of the PDs Fine Gael are clearly aiming to take over the Thatcherite agenda on the right of Irish politics. The Labour Party now need to explain to their voters how they are going to go into a coalition government with a party that promotes such a hard-line right-wing agenda.”