Government will not pull the wool over the eyes of our Older People – BREEN.

October 31st, 2008 - Pat Breen

Speaking on Wednesday, 22nd October during the Fine Gael Private Members Motion in Dail Eireann calling on the Governement to reinstate the automatic right to a Medical Card Deputy Breen said “Today many of us witnessed scenes reminiscent of the French Revolution’s storming of the Bastille.  One could almost hear the tumbrels going down Kildare Street where people from all parts of the country were forced to take to the streets of Dublin.  I congratulate them on taking part in today’s march and I pay tribute to them for coming out in such great numbers.  Many of them even travelled from my constituency of Clare.


The Minister and the Ministers of State present tonight should hang their heads in shame.  Last week many of them could not wait to applaud their colleague.  My God, one week makes an awful difference in politics.  The former US President, Harry Truman, once said: “If you can’t convince them, confuse them”.  For the past eight days the Government has been confusing the people.


Deputy Máire Hoctor: It was Opposition Deputies who did that.


 Deputy Pat Breen: However, the Government cannot pull the wool over the eyes of the older people.  No amount of tinkering with the scheme’s income limits will mask how it got it so wrong.  The only reason it was forced into a climb down was to save the blushes of the backbenchers.


 Deputy Pádraic McCormack: They have an election coming.


Deputy Pat Breen: When the tactic of confusion did not work, it sent out a south Tipperary Deputy on a national radio station looking for the head of the Minister for Health and Children in order to blame somebody else.  Before the Taoiseach took the slow boat to China he said on RTE news on Friday night that he knew there would be a problem and defended the decision in the House.  This was the Government’s fifth attempt to explain the new income limits.  It got it wrong and it is time for it to allay the fears of the pensioners it has punished.  The former US President, Harry Truman, also said: “If you can’t stick the heat, get out of the kitchen”.  I am urging everybody, including Government backbenchers, to join the revolution.  Come with us in Fine Gael and vote with us tonight.  The Government got it wrong and should admit it.  It should rescind this disgraceful decision.