Responding to the 2021 Budget Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated;

“Low income families have been most effected by this crisis and yet they have received very little. If you are a pensioner, or are on the PUP, or a family renting a home ,or have an under-pressure mortgage, or have children in childcare, if you are a farmers or live in regional or rural Ireland. Move along Budget2021 is not for you”.

“I am amazed that in an €18b budget increase that €10 could not be found for the pensions of the most vulnerable and most exposed to the pandemic. Changes to Sick pay is an improvement but Ireland is still an outlier in European terms”.

“The Pandemic unemployment Payment remained untouched after its drastic cut. The trend that we saw where the government cut the income of those on €18,000 while those on €80,000 got an income increase continues.

“Capital Spend is up by €750m. €750m out of €18 billion. This means Ireland’s Capital Spend is still under 3% of GDP. Which is way lower than it should be. So what the eye watering headline hides is a shocking low investment level.

“This is a mistake. Ireland needs a Keynsian Counter Cyclical investment. One that pays dividends in terms of efficiencies. One that builds homes where the citizen can live and the state gets the rent. One that ends Dublin’s record of being one of the most congested cities in the EU. One that creates a balanced Ireland. One that does not have an overheating capital or 1/3 of the country commuting for hours a day or sees many places in regional Ireland emptying out of its young people”.

“We need a needed a circuit breaker to the lopsided city stated development of our Island. What we got is a few bob here and there for rural schemes, rural schemes that amount to nothing more than social welfare for rural Ireland. Enough to survive but never enough for a vibrant regional balance”.

“Brexit & Covid highlights the importance of seamless north south cooperation. Resistance to All Ireland Cooperation costs lives. Planning together, funding together & delivering together is the key. Yet no mechanism to do this in the Budget”.

“There is no change to government Yo Yo Covid strategy which is based on “lets see what happens over the next 14 days. The gov is operating on the blind, without knowing costs in terms on morbidity, mortality, mental health or damage done to society. It’s a serious mistake that there is no plan for a Covid-19 Impact Commission”.