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Gilmore demands Cowen apologise for wasting taxpayers' money

Posted on September 16, 2009 at 07:24 PM

This afternoon saw the first Leaders' Questions of the Dáil session and the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD used the time to demand that Cowen apologise for wasting taxpayers' money.

"People are already losing jobs and businesses. It is a very difficult time. While the Taoiseach is asking people to do that, we are being informed on a weekly and daily basis of the extent of the waste of taxpayers' money which his Government has presided over for the past number of years...

"On top of that, we learn of the splurging and indulgence of ministerial expenses over the period of that Government. I acknowledge the Ceann Comhairle's letter of apology he issued today, but it suggests that this was by no means the exception and appears to be the norm.

"All I am asking the Taoiseach to do - something he has avoided doing in interviews he gave during the summer - before he says to hardworking people that he wants more money from them in taxes, that he wants to cut their pay or that they might lose their job, is to look them in the eye and say he accepts he has been in Government for 12 years, that he was responsible for the country's finances for four of those and that he is now in charge of the Government, and that he accepts, on behalf of the Government, that a huge waste of taxpayers' money was perpetrated by that Government.

"I want him to say to them that he is sorry and say it before he asks them to contribute any more."

You can watch Eamon's contribution in the accompanying video and you can read the full exchange from Leaders' Questions on the Oireachtas website.

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