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Day 24 - the last press conference

Posted on May 22, 2007 at 04:49 PM

Day 24 - Pat speaking at the last press conference of the campaign.
Pat speaking at the last press conference of the campaign.

Today saw the last press conference of the campaign due to the moratorium placed on television and radio media in the last 24 hours of the countdown.

Speaking to journalists Pat said: "The people have a choice. For the last 22 days, Labour has run a campaign that has been unrelentingly positive. We have concentrated our efforts on putting forward our vision for the future of our country. A vision I call the Fair Society."

Pat also took the opportunity to dispel a lot of guff being thrown by Fianna Fail as they attempt to spread misinformation on our costed and researched policies.

Ironically as David Davin Power put it, it is Fianna Fail who has been left with egg on their face following last night's Questions and Answers where Brian Cowen admitted the super private clinics will cost the taxpayer almost half a billion euro in tax incentives for wealthy private developers to implement the government's plan for collocation of super-private clinics on public hospital land.

You can view the exchange between Pat and Minister for Finance Brian Cowen here.

In addition to this tax bill, the public hospital system will also lose income of up to €145m per annum and possibly as much as €200m per annum, as they will no longer benefit from payments now made by Private Health Insurance companies.

Then at today's Fianna Fail press conference the FF ministers appeared to be clueless about how much this would cost. The senior ministers were unable to give adequate answers when challenged on the issue and had to call in an advisor in an attempt to beat a retreat and to explain it.

In the end they had three figures, €70m per annum, €56m per annum and €40m per annum. Brian Cowen said €70m, Seamus Brennan said €40m while their advisor said €56m, so which is it?

These are the people who say the economy is safe with them, not to mention the desperate lies they have been using as their election campaign. So worried are Fianna Fail that as Pat drew attention to this debacle, Fianna Fail is resorting to bare-faced lies both on their website and in the media.

You can see more of this on the RTE website here (scroll down to Election 2007 segment) and you can read Pat's statement here.

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