The Irish health system is being directly affected by economic decisions being “imposed on Ireland” by the EU and a “complicit” Government and MEPs in Brussels.
This is the view of Matt Carthy, the Sinn Féin North, West, and Midlands constituency candidate for this year’s European Elections.
The former mayor of County Monaghan is running on a platform of representing the views of those who are critical of the EU’s economic policies and the regional imbalance that has seen the western based counties in the State lose out to other regions.
According to Councillor Carthy, health policy should be “determined at national and local level” but instead, “EU driven austerity policies have had a negative impact”.
“Some €4 billion has been taken out of our health service since 2008 and €619 million worth of cuts are planned in the 2014 HSE Service Plan,” Cllr Carthy told the Galway Advertiser, “yet we are still paying massive salaries to officials and consultants. This is a national scandal. The austerity policies which are demanding these cuts are forcing the withdrawal of frontline services but bonuses and salaries for officials and the golden elite remain high. Yet our MEPs do not raise this in Brussels.”
Cllr Carthy is also concerned about regional imbalance in terms of EU funding and development, which, he says, is seeing Connacht-Ulster and the midlands left behind.
“We need to develop the cities, towns, and communities of our region,” he says. “There have been endless reports and plans, but little in the way of achievement. Too many EU meetings about regional funding take place behind closed doors. As an MEP I want to open those doors and allow the public to see how those decisions are being made.”
Cllr Carthy is also adamant that Irish MEPs do not reflect public concerns or criticisms of the EU. “In previous EU referenda, across the 15 counties of the North, West, and Midlands, some 40 per cent of people voted against the Fiscal Compact/Austerity Treaty and Lisbon I and II,” he says. “Yet this point of view is not represented by MEPs, but I am interested in fighting their corner and putting their views across in the EU parliament