28 April 2015
By Bryan Smyth
Anti Austerity Alliance Cllr Mick Barry this morning said that the Government’s Spring Statement would paint a rosy picture of economic recovery but that facts presented to last night’s meeting of Cork City Council showed that recovery is not touching the lives of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people.
Last night’s Council meeting was told that the Bia Food Initiative/Cork Food Bank provided more than 80 tonnes of surplus food product or 200,000 meals over a period from the start of November to the middle of February to 44 charities across Munster.
There are now 600,000 people living in the state affected by “food poverty” with more than one child in five going to school without a proper breakfast every morning.
Last night’s Cork City Council meeting requested that Chief Executive Ann Doherty consider allocating 20,000 euro a year for the next five years from Council resources to fund the Cork Food Bank.
Cllr Barry said this morning: “The Government will tell the nation this afternoon that Ireland’s is the fastest-growing economy in Europe. If that is the case then why are 200,000 meals having to be served to feed people in food poverty over a three and a half month period in the Munster region alone? It would seem that this is a recovery for the rich. At the same time that Ireland has more euro billionaires than ever before it also has more people relying on food banks too.”
Cllr Barry also strongly criticised comments made by Fine Gael’s John Buttimer in the course of last night’s discussion on the food bank to the effect that it could take up to five years for economic recovery to fully “trickle down” .
Cllr Barry said this morning: “Working class people can’t afford to wait five years for economic recovery to trickle down. Fine Gael and Labour will be dead and buried long before then if that is their plan for economic recovery for ordinary people.”