Cork city councillor Ted Tynan (Workers’ Party) has condemned Sinn Féin’s decision to back the council’s annual budget last week (Thursday, November 9th).

Speaking in reaction to the budget, Cllr. Tynan said:

“I voted against the budget for the same reason Sinn Féin said they had voted against the budget in the past – It is inadequate for the needs of the city and will, inevitably lead to further cuts to services which our city needs.

“Sinn Féin’s argument that a new €11 million loan fund for housing maintenance justifies this budget does not stand up to scrutiny.”

Cllr. Tynan said that increasing city council debt for what should be routine maintenance work would lead to further cuts down the line, saying:

“This loan is being portrayed as a low-interest loan because it is coming from the Housing Finance Agency (HFA). But even the HFA’s super low-interest loans of 1.5 to 2% will end up costing us 15% more than the original amount in interest payments, over the twenty years we will be repaying it.

“Loan facilities like those provided by the HFA are intended for – and should be used for – borrowing extraordinary amounts of money, for example the billions needed to build public housing in our city. Using them to replace the basic day-to-day financing of  basic services, like housing maintenance, is simply a scam to make money for bankers.”

Cllr. Tynan said Sinn Féin was more interested in impressing Fianna Fáil and others that it was a safe pair of hands that could be trusted in government than in opposing right-wing policies in Cork City Hall. “Sinn Féin claims to be on the left but it was very clear last Thursday night which parties represented the political left given that the Workers’ Party and Solidarity were the sole opponents of this cut-back budget”, said Cllr. Tynan.

He concluded that the necessary housing maintenance programme should be financed through an increase in government funding, saying:

Central government has access to historically low interest rates on its borrowing. It makes infinitely more sense for us to use that money to run Cork city – and not borrow through a middle man, increasing expense and interest rates for us all.”, said Cllr. Tynan.