Joe Higgins puts the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) to the test over his coalition partner Labour’s pre-election promises
These questions were put to Enda Kenny, the Irish Fine Gael Prime Minister (Taoiseach) by Joe Higgins, see video below:
"After his nomination on 9 March the Taoiseach said in the Dáil, “Honesty is not alone our best policy but our only policy.” What is honest about the cynical kite flying by half of the Cabinet in the last week, in manipulating the media and the people with stories of horror cuts and charges in order that when they are a little less when they bring them in, the hope is the people might accept them? Will the Taoiseach prove he believes honesty is the only policy by answering a simple question?
A week before the general election the Tánaiste and leader of the Labour Party, Deputy Gilmore, said, “The Labour Party will not agree to having child benefit cut; Fine Gael needs to drop its plans to cut it.” Will the Taoiseach make an honest man of the Tánaiste this morning and, more importantly, on budget day? The programme for Government states the Government “will maintain social welfare rates”. Will the Taoiseach make an honest woman of the Minister for Social Protection this morning and, more importantly, on budget day?
The Labour Party manifesto states, “Labour believes the €500 increase in student service charges to €2,000 is a step too far. Labour will reverse the increase”. Will the Taoiseach make an honest party of the Labour Party on budget day? Will he insist on honesty prevailing on budget day?
The Minister for Finance announced a 0.6% levy on pensions for four years to fund the so-called jobs initiative. Tara miners have exposed the truth; this translates into a savage 10% levy on their modest pensions of €10,000 each year for four years. Will the Taoiseach restore honesty? I want a simple yes or no answer; as I am not asking for the budget, the Taoiseach should not say I am. I want to see if he will stand by his dictum that honesty is the only policy and honour the commitments made by his partners in government and his own party."