A Sinn Féin MP has welcomed EU regional funding, although he voted against a budget that has made it possible.
Chris MacManus has welcomed €217m for Connacht, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan in recent days, despite voting against a budget funding it in December 2020
The money comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is supported by the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and member state governments.
The MFF is the overall budget of the EU for each seven-year period and determines the funding of major programmes, including the ERDF.
Mr MacManus, representing Midlands Northwest, voted against the MFF two years ago, saying it was not a budget that Sinn Féin “would stand for”.
According to a statement explaining the MEP’s vote, the MFF budget did not match the “priorities” and “type” of Europe that the party envisioned.
“The underlying logic, that the EU collects its own taxes to fund the budget, is another important issue for Sinn Féin,” he said.
“Supporting this budget would mean supporting €7 billion for the defense industry and €5.5 billion for the EU’s nefarious border policy, while Pillar II (CAP) support is cut in real terms.
“Unfortunately, the priorities just don’t align with Sinn Féin’s progressive policies.”
He said there are “positive” parts of the EU budget, including climate targets, scientific research and the Just Transition Fund.
In announcing the funding, Mr. MacManus praised the development of a new university and centers for remote work, as well as more support for regional areas.
“I welcome this week’s announcement by the North and West Regional Assembly of €217 million in funding for the region from the ERDF,” he said in a statement last week.
Mr MacManus defended his ballot when contacted by the Irish Independently.
He said it would be “just ridiculous” to suggest voting against a spending package, meaning MPs cannot be happy about the funds being allocated to their constituency
“It’s like implying that every opposition TD who voted against a budget is against all government spending,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/sinn-fein-mep-chris-macmanus-hails-eus-217m-funding-despite-voting-against-budget-42186773.html Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus welcomes €217 million in EU funding despite voting against the budget