Four Green Party members sign open letter opposing Programme for Government

Four Green Party members sign open letter opposing Programme for Government
Saoirse McHugh. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Four young Green Party members have signed an open letter opposing the Programme for Government.

The signatories - Tate Donnelly, Julie O'Donoghue, Sean McCabe and Saoirse McHugh - are all from rural constitiuencies and say the carbon tax proposal as it stands represents the threat of a return to austerity.

They write in the letter that the programme for Government “will have a disproportionate, negative impact on young people in Ireland.” 

They add their disappointment in seeing the term ‘Green new Deal’ used saying that the Programme for Government only offers “something more akin to a greener business as usual.” Tate Donnelly said it particularly affected rural and low-income families adding they were particularly worried about the finance section in the plan.

“We did go in very skeptical that it was the correct way to go,” he said.

“We didn’t think that we should have entered negotiations with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

“But we remained open to supporting a deal. However, there’s a lot in this deal that we can’t support.

“We’re especially worried about the finance section. We think that this could lead to austerity.” 

Last week, Saoirse McHugh said she will not be supporting the programme for government.

When she first heard details of it she said she thought it was good, but on reading the details she thought it was “woolly, management speak” and a lot of it was “quite fudgy”.

Ms McHugh told RTÉ radio’s Today with Sarah McInerney show that the programme does not do enough on climate change issues so she will not be voting for it.

“It will be a very hard sell for Green Party members,” she added.

The 7% carbon emissions proposal will not be easy to get past members as it was “backloaded”.

The figures on housing were also disappointing, she said and were lower than had been included in some election manifestoes.

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