Aontú leader, Peadar Tóibín TD has welcomed Fine Gael’s ‘baby box’ initiative but says that a cute video on twitter doesn’t do much for struggling families.
Deputy Tóibín said: “It’s all well and good for a Fine Gael Senator to put up a cute, well-choreographed video of himself talking about the struggles of parenthood, but that video, with it’s catchy background music and cringey humour did little to help struggling families caught up in a cycle of homelessness. In the video, Senator Richmond actually said ‘here’s the plan… Fine Gael in government’ will deliver this idea. Does the senator not realise that Fine Gael is in government? The video was uploaded on Fine Gael’s social media accounts, not government ones. Let’s call it what it is – a campaign ad. And how much did it cost? How much did Fine Gael spend on the production, editing and promoting of the video?”
Deputy Tóibín continued: “At the time of this video’s publication, homeless deaths are at record-breaking highs. There are still queues of women with buggies outside the Capuchin Day Centre seeking nappies and baby formula. The ‘baby box’ idea is a good idea, one which was also discussed at length by Ministers under previous Fine Gael governments but never introduced. Every year in Ireland mothers give birth homeless. This is a shocking indictment of the policies of the FG government for the last 10 years”.
“We in Aontú are blue in the face with calling for better supports for women and babies and we will always strive for a society which is more welcoming for mothers and babies, born and unborn. Fine Gael need to realise that we can see through them. When I was engaged in government formation talks with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, none of them would give specific commitments to seeking to end the scandal of giving birth homeless. The production of cute campaign videos about what ‘Fine Gael in government’ will do, just doesn’t wash. Fine Gael are in government. Now is the time to put their money where their mouth is rather than focusing on the production of party political campaign videos. Do something for the women queuing in the cold for nappies and baby food, do something practical for the baby born today into a cycle of poverty and homelessness. Making a video and putting a good sound track behind it before uploading it onto the Fine Gael website simply isn’t enough”.