MAGHERAFELT Sinn Féin councillor, Gabhán McFalone has welcomed the report published by Oxfam on the devastating effect Austerity policies are having on the most vulnerable sections of society.
Cllr McFalone said: “I welcome this in depth report produced by Oxfam which reflects many of the issues highlighted on a regular basis by Sinn Féin spokespersons. It would seem that the British and Irish governments are isolated in their belief that austerity measures, mainly directed towards the unemployed and working poor, can lift the economy and society out of the mess created by wealthy bankers, speculators and developers.
“It is an undeniable fact that every cut to benefits or wage levels has a multiplying effect on the loss to the economy as those in receipt of benefits and low wages spend 100% of disposal income locally. Therefore cuts to benefits and infrastructural investment are also a threat to existing jobs and expansion potential.
“But while we can complain and Oxfam and other reputable organisations can produce reports calling on the British Government to treat the North as a special case, we will continue to suffer economically while tied to British fiscal policy.
“The only way that we will ever be treated as a special case is when we take responsibility for our own economic destiny by demanding transfer of maximum tax and revenue raising powers from Whitehall to the Assembly Executive.
“We need to reassess the fiscal link between the north and Britain. It is time that the Assembly and Executive had access to the full suite of fiscal powers in order to build a just, fair, equitable and successful economy in the north and to build a better Ireland.