‘Scaremongering will not work’ – Colreavy

As Sligo\North Leitrim Sinn Féin launched their No campaign, local TD Michael Colreavy has accused the parties calling for a Yes vote, “of scare mongering because there are no credible arguments in favour of the austerity treaty.”

Deputy Colreavy was speaking at a public meeting to launch the campaign in Sligo last Thursday April 27th.

He said, ‘‘We have already seen and experienced the damage to the Irish economy and the hardship for citizens caused by the failed policies of bank bailouts and crippling austerity, supported by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil. There are countless examples of the cuts and there devastating impacts evident here in our own constituency, from the cuts to the budget of Cregg House, the continuing closure of beds in Sligo general hospital, the cuts in the carers allowance, which is bordering on sinful, and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

“This treaty means at least a decade more of austerity and economic stagnation with even greater levels of unemployment, emigration, poverty and inequality such as the cuts I have already talked to you about. National and household debt, already at unsustainable levels, will increase. And crucially the arbitrary and draconian 0.5% deficit target will more than likely not be reached. Meanwhile billions of euros of taxpayers money continues to be pumped into Anglo Irish Bank”

Addressing the packed hall Cavan Senator Kathryn Reilly said “What this fiscal compact means in real terms is that were the referendum passed it will seriously undermine Irish sovereignty and Irish democracy by enshrining the policies of austerity into our constitution and our laws forever. They are asking us to say yes to surrendering important Irish fiscal and budgetary matters to un-elected and unaccountable EU officials. It would also mean that our domestic economy would remain in recession and that we would see even more people out of work. Vital funding for frontline health, education and community services is being cut even further in a bid to reach a structural deficit of 0.5%. Given that our structural deficit is projected to be at 3.7% in 2015, it would take up to a further €6 billion in cuts and new taxes to reach the 0.5% target post 2015”

Director of Elections Councillor Chris MacManus, “invited others locally opposed to the Treaty to assist Sinn Féin in the forthcoming campaign.”

Speaking after the meeting Deputy Colreavy said that “Sinn Féin is the only party in the constituency opposed to austerity and we are the only party opposing the Austerity Treaty. The Yes side has no arguments except scare mongering because there are no credible arguments in favour of the treaty. On May 31st let’s stand up for ourselves and for our families. Let’s stand up for each other. Let’s stand up for Ireland. Let us deliver a resounding and overwhelming ‘No’.” ENDS

Sinn Fein representatives Say NO to Austerity. L to R, Cllr. Arthur Gibbons, Deputy Michael Colreavy, TD, Senator Kathryn Reilly, Cllr. Chris Mac Manus.

Colreavy highlights impact of high fuel costs on Irish agriculture

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture, marine and food Michael Colreavy TD has highlighted the impact of high fuel costs on Irish agriculture.

Deputy Colreavy today met a delegation from the Association of Farm Contractors in Ireland who raised the impact of high fuel costs of the agricultural industry.

Speaking in the Dáil last night Deputy Colreavy said:

“Agriculture is doing well, but the agri-food sector is under a significant threat from rising fuel costs. Fuel costs for farmers have doubled in the last three years; however, profits for farmers have not increased to match this price. The profit margins of farmers are being eroded and this is putting serious financial pressure on them and on their families.

“The cost that agricultural contractors now face when trying to carry out their work on farms is enormous. Contractors face massive costs during the summer and harvest periods. These massive costs are then in turn off-loaded on the farmer.

“In the last two years agricultural diesel has gone up by a massive 54%, while road diesel has increased by almost 35%. At a time when government call for industrial and commercial competitiveness, Ireland’s competitiveness in agriculture is being damaged due to expensive road haulage and the distance we are from our markets.

“I am calling on the government to substantially reduce fuel duties to stop the spiralling prices of petrol and diesel. The high price of fuel is causing severe hardships on consumers, with government taxes accounting for more than 57 per cent of the cost of fuel according to the Irish petrol retail association. It is within the remit of government to address the considerable extra hardship placed on rural dwellers by these taxes. Motoring is a necessity in rural Ireland, we don’t have buses passing our doors every 15 minutes or a luas or taxi ranks that we can go to so as to get our kids to school or travel to work or the shop or visit a doctor. The Government should also seriously consider the law of diminishing returns – energy and transport costs are seriously damaging our local and national competitiveness.”

Colreavy Condemns Scraping of the AEOS for 2012

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Marine and Food, and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh have strongly condemned the decision by Minister Simon Coveney to scrap the Agri Environmental Options Scheme (AEOS) for 2012.

Deputy Colreavy stated “This is a direct attack on low income farmers. The role of the Minister for Agriculture is to ensure that as many farmers as possible are able to farm the land. This move by Minister Coveney makes the lives of farmers trying to make a viable income from farming even more arduous.

Only last month when I questioned the Minister on the opening of AEOS for 2012 he replied that he wanted to emphasise his ‘commitment to the agri-environment schemes which put environmentally-friendly farming to the forefront and which recognise the vital role farmers play in delivering public goods for the benefit of all society.’ Clearly Minister Coveney has abandoned low income farmers in the slash and burn agenda of the Fine Gael/Labour Government.”

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh slammed the move as “a retrograde step by the Minister. Farmers, especially those in the west of Ireland, depend on AEOS as a viable source of income. Minister Coveney already cut the Disadvantaged Area Scheme in December’s budget. This fresh attack will push more and more farmers into financial hardship. It is clear that the scrapping of AEOS is part of the austerity agenda of this government. It is imperative for farmers, especially those who have been victims of these cuts, to vote against the upcoming Austerity Treaty. Rural Ireland must unite in an effort to fight against this savage austerity.”

Deputy Colreavy presents cheque to Sean Fallon, co-founder of S.T.O.P!

The Michael J Marren South Sligo Cumann held a table quiz in Cawleys Hotel, Tubbercurry in aid of the charity S.T.O.P. (Suicide, Teach, Organise, Prevent). The Marren Cumann raised €400 from the table quiz and a great night was had by all who attended. Deputy Colreavy presented the cheque to Sean Fallon, co-founder of S.T.O.P, on Friday 30th March 2012 along Marren cumann members and their families in Tubbercurry.

Speaking after the presentation Deputy Colreavy said ” I am very pleased to be able to present the funds to STOP today on behalf of the Marren Cumann especially as this charity does great work in our communities assisting and supporting individuals who feel suicidal, are in distress or those who have been bereaved by suicide. Sinn Féin is committed to supporting hard working groups and charities such as S.T.O.P because the work they do and supports they offer are invaluable.”

Find more information on the supports available from S.T.O.P on their website: www.stopsuicide.ie

OR For Immediate Assistance Call: 071 916 4286 (24 hour crisis help line)