Sinn Féin councillor Rose Conway-Walsh has described Fine Gael’s plan to reduce the number of workers in the public service by 30,000 as “a plan to lengthen the dole queues”. She also challenged the Labour Party to state if it would go along with such a plan.
“Fine Gael wants to lay off 30,000 public services workers while at the same time improving public services,” Cllr Conway-Walsh said. “There is room for huge improvement in the way services are delivered and there is a need to eliminate waste. But to imagine that you can take 30,000 posts out of the public service and at the same time improve delivery to the public is pure fantasy. For example, Fine Gael’s document talks of having local authority officers respond to problems raised by residents within two days. Already local authorities are under-staffed and working at full stretch. It is ludicrous to suggest that they can be further denuded of staff and expected to provide faster, more efficient services. Fine Gael wants to hand over the health services to what it calls ‘competing insurance companies’ and sell off semi-State companies such as the ESB. This is essentially a plan to lengthen the dole queues. It takes no account of the leading role the public services can play in reviving the economy. The Labour Party should outline its position on this plan from its prospective coalition partner. Would Labour go along with it?”