Sinn Féin held a demonstration in Waterford on Wednesday against pension top-ups for senior bankers and pension cuts for senior citizens.
Around thirty party activists, led by Councillors David Cullinane and Pat Fitzgerald, protested outside AIB and Bank of Ireland on the Quay amid revelations that the major banks are using a cash allowance system to circumvent government tax on pension top-ups. In the meantime, Minister Eamonn Ó Cuiv has suggested that the old age pension may have to be cut in the next budget.
Cllr Cullinane says the incongruity of what’s happening is “nothing short of disgraceful”, and believes the country’s top bankers “haven’t changed their mindset to the new reality” and “are showing the same greed which almost collapsed the Irish banks and the wider economy.”
That the Government is considering cutting the state pension and the minimum wage, thereby making the vulnerable pay for the mistakes of others, “is shameful”, he added.
“Bankers who lent recklessly and speculators who spent recklessly are bailed out at the expense of pensioners, children and the unemployed. No effort is made to invest in jobs while billions is wasted on a zombie bank like Anglo Irish. Funding for schools and hospitals is cut and public services are being squeezed for every last drop.
“Enough is enough – we need to drive this Government out of office and start delivering for working people and the unemployed and not those who created the mess in the first place”, he asserted.