Labour Blog

Labour Blog

Government behaving like bewildered bystanders as country faces economic crisis

Posted on December 03, 2008 at 01:23 PM

Today in the Dáil the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore pressed the Taoiseach about what action he is going to turn the economy around and get people back to work.

Describing the Government as 'bewildered bystanders' Eamon told the Taoiseach that we are waiting for leadership from the Government.

"The problem we have in this country is that the people of this country know we are in a deep problem and we know from yesterday's figures is that it is even deeper and what people expect to see from Government is some leadership; you are behaving and have been behaving for the last months like bewildered bystanders instead of providing the kind of courage, conviction, imagination, innovation and leadership that the people of this country expect to see from Government.

"In conclusion the worst thing about the economic recession that we have at the moment is that increasingly people in this country believe that not only do we have a serious economic problem but we also have a Government which is not up to the job

"You have sent us mixed messages from the last number of months, we were told there was going to be a state of the nation message address from the Taoiseach, it never happened. You brought forward a budget and it turns out the numbers were wrong. Lat week we were hearing there was going to be an announcement of some kind of an economic strategy and now you are telling us that you are already have a strategy - the only problem is that is that there rest of us do not know what that strategy is.

"Now yesterday we were told that the tax revenue from the Government is going to be €2000m less than you calculated only seven weeks ago in the Budget. The Minister for Finance said this morning there was going to be no mini-budget, there's going to be no increased taxes presumably so it's going to come from cuts in expenditure somewhere.

"€2000m is what you did in the Budget and we know the consequences of that for pensioners, for the unemployed, class sizes and so on. And yet that is obviously what you are contemplating again.

"The only problems is the Minister for Finance is going to wait until he see the December figures and at the end of the year the Government will be in a better position to judge what it is going to do.

"Live horse and eat grass, when is this country going to see an outline strategy in plain language they can understand about where this economy is going and what leadership this Government is providing to deal with it."

You can read the full exchange on the Oireachtas website later today. We'd also like to know what you think, let us know in the comments below.

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