Government have failed Mid-Term Exam – BREEN

June 26th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen speaking in the Dail last week during the Confidence Motion on this Government performance following the Local & European Elections on June 5th, claimed that “the Government took its mid-term test and failed miserably.He went to say that the Government no longer has a mandate to continue in office and that they “should pack their bags and go“. Citing the historic success of Fine Gael in his own Constituency of Clare “once known as De Valera’s County”, Deputy Breen said that Fine Gael has become the largest party and the dominance of Fianna has come to an end.

In a stinging attack on this Governments record in office, Deputy Breen went on to highlight the County’s soaring unemployment figures, pointing out that there has been a 94% increase in those signing on in the past 12 months.

He said that this Government have forced the people of County Clare to accept a second class Health System, with 24 Hr Accident & Emergency Services removed from Ennis General Hospital and that they only did a u-turn in respect of cystic fibrosis facilities only when the young and brave CF patients and families spoke out against them. They axed special needs assistants from our Schools and threatened to close down a special class at St. Senan’s N.S. in Kilrush without any thought of the consequences for the children and their parents.

He said that this “Government has turned their back on every businessperson in this Country with small businesses closing every day”, while they introduced a €10 Air Travel tax “when every airline in the world, including in Ireland, is struggling to survive”. “Ordinary men and women in the street have become the sacrificial lambs for this Government’s cronies who have walked away, many of them with golden handshakes.”

Finally he said “It is time the Government took off its rose tinted glasses, the people of Ireland no longer trust this Government.” Referring to Local & European Election poll on Friday, 5th he said “The people have spoken, the verdict has been delivered, namely, that this Government serve its sentence in Opposition for the next few years”.

See Dail Text – Confidence Motion – 09th June 2000

Deputy Pat Breen:

Currently students are doing examinations. On Friday last the Government took its mid-term test and we saw the result it got last week. The Government took its mid-term test and failed miserably. It failed the Irish people and no longer has a mandate to continue in office. I suggest to the Minister that he and his Government pack their bags and go. On Friday last, people came out in their droves looking for change. It was an historic day for our party and an historic day in County Clare where for the first time ever, Fine Gael became the largest party and the dominance of Fianna Fáil came to an end. In County Clare, once known as de Valera’s county, we had nine councillors elected.

I have never encountered as much anger on the doorsteps as I did when canvassing during the past three weeks. There is huge anger out there. People were speaking not about local issues but about national issues, as reflected in the vote against the Government by three quarters of the population last Friday. Unemployment is soaring. We now have the second highest level of unemployment in the European Union. In my own county, 9,688 people are currently signing on, an increase of 94% over a 12-month period. Our public finances have deteriorated more than those of any other member of the European Union. Our health services are in crisis. The Government was forced to make a U-turn in respect of cystic fibrosis, CF, facilities when young and brave CF patients and their families spoke out against them.

The Government forced the people of County Clare to accept a second-hand health service through the removal of 24-hour accident and emergency services resulting in patients having to travel longer distances to access basic life saving services. It has axed special needs assistants in our schools and threatened to close down special needs classes at St. Senan’s national school, Kilrush, without any thought of consequences for the children and their parents.

The Government has turned its back on every business person in the country, with small businesses closing every day of the week. The hike in the VAT rate to 21.5% has driven shoppers over the Border and there has been a €2.2 billion cut in infrastructure projects in 2009.

The Government introduced a €10 air travel tax when every airline in the world, including in Ireland, is struggling to survive. It has axed the Christmas bonus, hitting the most vulnerable of our society. It has taken an average of €5,000 from every family in this country through increases in taxes and levies. Thousands of people are trapped in negative equity, afraid they are going to lose their homes. Ordinary men and women in the street have become the sacrificial lambs for this Government’s cronies who have walked away, many of them with golden handshakes.

I say to the Minister that it is time the Government took off its rose tinted glasses. The people of Ireland no longer trust this Government. They want a fresh approach. They know this Government has brought the country to its knees and they do not trust it to get this country back on its feet. Fine Gael has a plan and ideas and it wants to govern. The people spoke on Friday last. The verdict has been delivered, namely, that this Government serve its sentence in opposition for the next few years.