[Sinn Fein]

28th February 2002

Murray - No commitment from establishment parties to development of West

Sinn Fein County Councillor Gerry Murray has expressed serious concern in relation to statements issued by the main political parties pertaining to their fiscal policies. Speaking to a meeting of Mayo Students in Galway Cllr Murray said that the establishment Parties had now arrived at a fiscal consensus.

``Fianna Fail, Fianna Gael, Labour and the PD's are promising better Public Services and infrastructure for the West of Ireland,While at the same time ruling out further increases in taxation and Government borrowing. Recent Statements by Mary Harney, Charlie McGreevey and Jim Mitchell would seem to indicate that in future all infrastructure development in Rural Ireland will be dependent exclusively on economic growth.''

``Despite the budget surpluses of recent years successive Governments have failed dismally to bridge the infrastructure deficit West of the Shannon. The reality is that the promises that are currently been made by the established Parties in Mayo can not be delivered upon within the parameters of their existing fiscal policies.''

``If commitments are been made by the established parties in relation to Public Services and infrastructure, then the People of Mayo are entitled to know how much they are going to cost and where the money is going to come from.''

``Any party that is not prepared to make a cast iron fiscal commitment to the west of Ireland should not be taken seriously by the electorate. Such a commitment would entail an investment of 1.5 billion euros over a six year period with a guarantee that it would be delivered upon regardless of fluctuations in economic growth.''

Cllr Murray concluded. ``The whole issue of developing the west has been ongoing with the last forty years. In that time the entire establishment Parties have had ample opportunities to resolve the economic and social problems of Rural Ireland. For the first time since the foundation of the State the People of Mayo have a real choice, they can either vote for more of the same, or else vote for Sinn Fein. The time has come for a radical and fresh alternative to the failed politics and policies of the last eighty years.''

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