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Financial Resolution No. 2: General (Resumed)

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Snippet Contents:

In his remarks today the Taoiseach commended in a self-flattering and self-serving manner his Government as a different type of Government which combines its members' different talents to build a strong economy and a fair society. Not alone is there very little talent in evidence in the budget, it lacks a defined roadmap to build strong economic fundamentals or, certainly, to deliver a fair society. It seems that, with his partners in Fianna Fáil, the Taoiseach wants to recolonise the concept of fairness. According to his colleague, Deputy Micheál Martin, the Taoiseach has had a conversion on the road to Damascus. Anybody who takes an interest in the affairs of the State and knows anything about Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil can confirm, as the record reflects, that for them "fair" is a four-letter word. Many terms and concepts might be associated with these parties respectively, but fairness is not among them.
Deputy Micheál Martin is hurt and offended that I made the obvious observation that we had had a very political budget. It is a crass box-ticking exercise that is fundamentally about protecting the political hides of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. That seems to upset him. Therefore, he invites all and sundry to regard Sinn Féin, the party of opposition, through the prism of our proposals. That, of course, is the correct thing to do. I suggest, however, that the rhetoric of Fianna Fáil which we heard today ought to be filtered through the fact that it has kept Fine Gael in government and Deputy Enda Kenny as Taoiseach. That is a matter of fact. It should also be filtered through the fact that whatever the bluster, Fianna Fáil is intent on supporting the budget. That is the position.
Deputy Micheál Martin and anyone else is very welcome to scrutinise Sinn Féin's alternative budget. I have it here. Unlike Fianna Fáil's, the document has been fully costed. We thought that was an important exercise in bringing forward our proposals.