Labour Blog

Labour Blog

Taoiseach missed an opportunity

Posted on February 03, 2009 at 10:54 PM

Today the Taoiseach announced the Government's long-awaited plan to deal with the economic situation facing the country. However instead an actual plan coming forward with an economic recovery plan the Taoiseach revealed what we already know; that public expenditure is to be cut by €2 billion this year.

Speaking following the Taoiseach's statement, the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore called the Taoiseach's statement a disappointment adding that it had not contributed to solving the country's problems as it "added more to the uncertainty and climate of despair in many cases that people are beginning to feel, rather than what it needed to do, which was to give people a lift and a sense that the Taoiseach has a handle on the problem".

Eamon continued: "We know the Government has set out to reduce public expenditure by €2 billion this year. We know also... that there must be also a reduction of €4 billion next year and the following year, €3.5 billion the year thereafter and €3 billion the year after than again. People want a sense of where the proposal is to lead and what it means in practical terms. We still do not know.

"The Taoiseach is missing an opportunity. The people are ready to put their shoulder to the wheel to get our economy out of its current difficulty. People understand the problems we face and they want to do something about it but they expect leadership from the Taoiseach and the Government. Time and time again the Taoiseach has disappointed in failing to provide the leadership."

Eamon's response in the Dail also highlighted the impact of the pensions levy on public servants like teachers and nurses, who on an income of €45,000 can expect to pay an additional €3,375 a year; you can watch his full contribution on the accompanying video.

The Irish Times has MP3s of all the contributions available at this link, while you can read the Dail transcripts on the Oireachtas website.

We want to know what you think. What were you expecting from today's statement, did it answer your questions? Please take a moment and let us know in the comment section below.

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