The Budget is “an attack on the old who need security, and the young who need education” and removes the concept of citizenship from Irish politics, according to Dep Michael D Higgins.
The Labour Party president and Galway West TD said the very groups who should have been protected from the Budget cuts, but were not are the elderly - “who had served their time in the Irish economy” - and children and young people facing into an economy where employment will be difficult to obtain.
He said the current economic circumstances should have made the Government create a “rights circle” around certain areas for which universal provision should be made.
“In the words of Nobel Economics Laureate Professor Amartya Sen,” said Dep Higgins, “what might be accepted as the principle goal of economic activity, its primary purpose, should be to allow for citizens to be enabled to participate without shame in society.”
Instead there was a “slash and burn approach to fiscal policy” which Dep Higgins said will result in “an attack on the old who need security, and the young who need education” and see an end to any “rights-based approach to citizenship