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Deenihan Plays Dodge on Public Service Redundancies Plan

20 Feb

I'll see your 30,000 and raise you 10,000

Mary Fitzgibbon (Independent Kerry North/West Limerick) has challenged Fine Gael Deputy Jimmy Deenihan to be honest about his plan for public service job cuts in his constituency.

Deenihan (an FG front bencher) has claimed that if he gets into government he would cut 12,000 less public service jobs than the 30,000 that is already targeted in the Fine Gael manifesto.

He gave the commitment during a Radio Kerry debate with the other election candidates in Kerry North/West Limerick. He was responding to Mary Fitzgibbon who challenged him about precisely how many public service posts in Kerry/Limerick that Fine Gael would cut.

Deenihan claimed that the Fine Gael manifesto “mentioned 30,000 but 12,000 are gone already so there would be only 18,000 redundancies”. However, the clear policy in the Fine Gael manifesto policy is to cut an additional 30,000 public servants on top of the 12,000 that were already removed up to 2010.

Deputy Richard Bruton (FG Enterprise Spokesman) has repeatedly confirmed that the Fine Gael plan is to cut 30,000 additional posts. However, Deenihan continues to contradict his front bench colleague with his renegade claim of 18,000 redundancies and refuses to specify where the public service job cuts will be in Kerry North/West Limerick.

Deenihan is misleading his constituents about the Fine Gael plan for the public service. He is on the front bench and he knows full well that Fine Gael want another 30,000 public service redundancies on top of the 12,000 that Fianna Fail already cut. It’s time for Jimmy to be honest about the Fine Gael manifesto and for him to identify what jobs will be lost in Kerry.

A total loss of a 42,000 posts under Fine Gael would decimate public services and would see at least 1,000 jobs go in Kerry North/West Limerick including nurses, gardai, teachers and other public servants. It would  have a devastating effect on the local economy in a region where employment is so scarce.

Economics of Fianna Failure: Slashing Education Grants Undermines Smart Economy

7 Feb

Cut of 60% in Student Grants

Mary Fitzgibbon (Independent Candidate, Kerry North/West Limerick) has warned that cuts to higher education grants will severely disadvantage local students who wish to study at nearby colleges.

A cut of 4% in higher education grants was announced in the budget. More recently, the Fianna Fail government quietly amended the grant criteria in order to disqualify thousands of students who attend college in their home county.

At present, the full maintenance grant is €3,120, and students with a home address within 24 km of college receive a lower grant rate of €1,248.

However, the government recently increased the travel distance required in order to qualify for the full higher education grant. From September, college students whose parents live up to 45km of college will only receive the much lower grant of €1,248.

The Fianna Fail plan will hit over 18,000 students nationally and involves a total reduction in grants of €30 million per annum. Continue reading

Independent Candidate Condemns Use of “Forced Labour”, Supports Student Nurses.

6 Feb

Mary Fitzgibbon

Mary Fitzgibbon (Independent Candidate for Kerry North and Limerick West) has condemned the use of unpaid workers in the public service as a disgraceful development that is tantamount to “forced labour”.

“Fianna Fail has introduced a new level of exploitation into the workforce by forcing prospective public servants to work for free in order to obtain experience and training,” said Mary.

“We are seeing this for student nurses who are having their stipends reduced to zero and we’re seeing it in the forcing of unemployed teachers to work for nothing. We are even seeing it in the deployment of the unpaid Garda Reserves to run major policing operations, like crowd control at football matches.”

“These raw recruits are being coerced into replacing for free the thousands of experienced frontline workers hemorrhaging from the system.  The inevitable result is a dramatically worsening public service and a system rushing towards chaos.” Continue reading