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Budget Statement 2019

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Snippet Contents:

It is all well and good for Fianna Fáil to come in here, make jokes and quote Brendan Behan. However, Brendan Behan also said, "It is a good deed to forget a poor joke" and maybe Deputy Cowen should keep that in mind.
Fine Gael's budget is a poor joke, but Fianna Fáil laughing in the face of homeless children is even worse. Let me remind Fianna Fáil of the backdrop to this budget it has carved out with Fine Gael. It is a backdrop in which 10,000 citizens are homeless, 4,000 of them children. That is 4,000 lives, 4,000 childhoods forever altered because of Fine Gael's and Fianna Fail's policies and their simple inability to present a budget that took those children's side. These are children whose only offence was to be born to parents who fell on hard times. How many times must we tell stories like that of Amanda, a teenage girl who is living in a hotel room and whose life is passing her by? How many times do stories like that need to grip the nation before the Government finally presents a budget capable of addressing this crisis? When a teenage girl made homeless by the policies of the Minister's Government has to pour her heart out on national radio to get noticed, what does that say about the Minister, his Government and their last budgets? When the Minister announced his first budget under the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil confidence and supply agreement, Amanda was in emergency accommodation. When he came here last year and announced his second confidence and supply budget with Deputy Michael McGrath, Amanda was still in emergency accommodation. As he takes to his feet today, Amanda is still homeless.