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Confidence in Taoiseach and Government: Motion (Continued)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 861 No. 1

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton] However, it happened and it was caused largely by Fianna Fáil's ruinous bank guarantee which left the country in financial rubble.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Tánaiste wants to spend more.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton That was the reality which this Government faced upon taking office.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Sorry, Tánaiste, your time is concluded.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The rubble was at our feet and we had to find a way to rebuild the economy and begin the recovery. I heard Deputy Adams recently on a radio programme telling Europe to bugger off or sod off, or whatever phrase he used. That is a recipe for beggaring the Irish people and the Irish economy.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Time up.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton During all the debates he continually wanted to default and now he wants to default in the future precisely when that would be one of the most nonsensical things to do. Not even most of the Independents would agree with a policy of defaulting now.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Thank you, Tánaiste.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton If that is what it means to have a thought-out economic policy, it would imperil the future-----

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath That is a very poor comparison.

Deputy Joe Higgins: Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins The Tánaiste is over time in every sense.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton -----of every child in this country and put us trundling back into the arms of the troika. It is incredibly irresponsible to suggest at this point in time that this country can default again.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett Sorry, Tánaiste, I have to cut you off now, please.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton This Government will finish the job it was elected by the people to do. We will work with might and main on behalf of the people to bring the recovery to every individual, every family and every community.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath Suigh síos.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett A bit or order for Deputy Martin, please. Members leaving the Chamber should leave quietly.

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin Reflecting on the debate and the speeches we have just heard, I would like to remark that the great phrase, "Frankfurt's way or Labour's way", does not sound too dissimilar to "Europe can bugger off".

Deputy Jerry Buttimer: Information on Jerry Buttimer Zoom on Jerry Buttimer Is this one you heard earlier?

A Deputy: Is this one you prepared earlier?

Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin No, it is not. It is on foot of what I have just heard. In many respects, the debate is a perfect illustration of why the people have for a long time and in ever greater numbers lost confidence in this Government. Elected with the largest majority in our history and even backed by the genuine goodwill of non-supporters, Fine Gael and the Labour Party had an unprecedented opportunity to implement reform. They had the space to put in place a vision for a fairer Ireland. They also had a lengthy media honeymoon to keep some of the normal pressures away. However, they chose a different way. There has been no new social or economic blueprint for our future. There has been no attempt to change how our country is governed. There has been no interest in reaching out to those without political power. This is an arrogant, out of touch and increasingly out of control Government which has been deeply unfair and divisive. With its trail of broken promises and obsession with spin, it has broken faith with the people who elected it. It has been deeply divisive in its policies and blind to the destructive impact it has had in area after area.

Time and again, major problems have been allowed to develop directly because of Government policies and have only been addressed when there has been a massive public backlash. The Taoiseach has repeatedly come to the House to tell us how everything is going fine, only to see hospitals, schools, the Garda Síochána, property tax, water charges, medical cards, household debts, personal pensions, job insecurity, housing, drug abuse and area after area of public services slide into crises. As we have heard yet again today, this is a Government which is so out of touch that it does not have the faintest idea why it is so profoundly unpopular and continues to spark loud resistance.

Yet again we have heard the fairy-tale story of a selfless Government which came to office and turned everything around and only has problems because of how hard it has been working on our behalf. There are occasional admissions of small mistakes, but the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and their dwindling band of followers basically believe that people are not giving them the credit they deserve. According to them, anything bad they did was only because they were forced to do it.


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