[Sinn Fein]

22 April 2002

PDs engaged in `pawn shop' economics

Sinn Fein Councillor Seán Crowe has described Mary Harney's election manifesto plan to sell off semi-state interests as ``pawn shop economics'' that will ``jeopardise future economic development''.

Cllr. Crowe was responding to the Progressive Democrats manifesto launch yesterday. He said:

``It is clear from the PDs manifesto that they are intent on following the failed policies that led to the Eircom fiasco which saw tens of thousands of ordinary people being conned out of their hard earned money. This is `pawn shop' economics that will see valuable and vital state services being sold off for short term gains.

``I would call on the electorate to reject these policies. Essential services like roads, rail, energy, telecommunications, ports and airports must be retained in public ownership. Privatising such services will increase the inequality in service provision for people in different parts of the country. Profits will come before people as private companies hungry for money will reduce services in non-profitable areas. This in turn will jeopardise future economic development state-wide.

``The state has a responsibility to ensure that everybody has equal access to vital services. Even the most hardened Thatcherite supporter in Britain would agree that the privatisation of public utilitie has been an unmitigated disaster. The PDs Thatcherite policies have no place in Irish society.''

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