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THE Green party leader John Gormley assures us there was “no other option” but to cut welfare payments in the budget.
There was also “no option” previously but to cancel the Christmas welfare payment. Let us test these assertions. Anglo Irish Bank’s “golden circle” members were granted non-recourse loans totalling €450 million in what appears to have been a share support operation.
The bank later wrote off €300m of these loans when things went belly up at Anglo. Now the taxpayer has taken on this debt since Anglo was nationalised.
Meanwhile, the Christmas welfare payment that the Government claims we can’t afford to pay would cost €240m.
So in Mr Gormley’s world we can’t afford to pay a little extra to pensioners and the poorest in society at Christmas but we can hand over €450m to some of the wealthiest businessmen in Ireland.
But there’s no need to worry because Seán Fitzpatrick and the golden circle have already received their Christmas bonus a long time ago.
I think Santa should get Mr Gormley a pad and pen for Christmas. Maybe then he can join up the dots like the rest of us to get the true picture of the choices the Government has made.
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