‘Concerned citizen’ challenges Mary Lou McDonald on campaign trail

By Juno McEnroe, Irish Examiner Political Correspondent

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald faced a verbal attack on her party’s tax policies from a businessman on Dublin’s Grafton Street this morning as well as claims her party would destroy pensions.

During a heated discussion at a launch on abolishing water charges, Ms McDonald was confronted by a businessman who also criticised party leader Gerry Adams’ handling of economic matters.

On the busy shopping street, the man, who refused to identify himself to the media and would only say he was a “concerned citizen”, said Sinn Féin would kill pensions.

“For middle income people, you’re going to kill their pensions. Have you seen the figures or can your leader do the maths," demanded the man.

Ms McDonald responded that her party had done the maths.

“I’m a political but I won’t be voting for Sinn Féin," said the man in return.

Asked by Ms McDonald why he would not vote for her party, the man replied: “Because you’re going to strip the poor people of this country, middle income people. My children don’t want to aspire to €69,000-a-year, where you bring in this USC [sic]. I think it’s appalling."

The deputy leader responded that half the workforce in Ireland earned €28,000 or less and Sinn Féin’s package was not about “punishing” people.

Instead, Dublin Central TD said the party’s tax change proposals were “fair and equitable”.

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