Fine Gael accused of 'fueling racism' through actions on housing and poverty

Lynn Boylan. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Fine Gael have been accused of "fueling racism" through their actions on housing and poverty during an EU parliament hustings event.

Speaking at the Social Justice Ireland event, Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan claimed it is "only a matter of time" before the far-right gain traction in this country.

Issues including climate change, poverty, fossil fuels and our controversial corporate tax rate were all thrashed out at the event in Dublin's Mansion House which was chaired by the Irish Examiner's Special Correspondent Michael Clifford.

Former Tánaiste and one of Fine Gael's two EU candidates Frances Fitzgerald fully backed the current 12.5% corporate tax rate but said there are some "competition issues" relating to multinational tech firms.

"In terms of tax policy I want to see fairness.

Do I support the corporation tax? Yes I do, I think growth is important, I think sustainable growth is essential. Do we need our businesses? Yes we do.

But she added: "I think there are some questions around the international digital companies. I think there are some competition issues in relation to those that need to be examined."

Social Democratic candidate Gary Gannon also supported the current 12.5% corporate tax rate.

Hitting out at the Fine Gael Government, fellow candidate Ms Boylan said the rise of the far-right is the "logical extension" of the past four decades of politics.

We often say that in Ireland we don't have a far-right representation, but it's only a matter of time because the sharp increase we have seen in homelessness, in child poverty, the spiralling costs of living since the Fine Gael government came to power are fueling racism in this country.

"It is being fuelled by a lack of resources and division among those who are most vulnerable in our society," she said.

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