Kenny promises not to raise income tax

Wed, Feb 2, 2011, 00:00

FINE GAEL:FINE GAEL is the only political party that has pledged not to raise income tax, according to party leader Enda Kenny.

Mr Kenny said Fine Gael recognised the importance of “the giving of hope and confidence to people through the taxation system”, when speaking to reporters outside party election headquarters in Dublin.

“The Fine Gael party in this election is the only party that is categorically saying that there will not be any increase in income tax over our period in government,” he said. “There will be no increase in income tax.”

Mr Kenny said the country needed strong government and not an administration that depended on the support of Independents. “I think that this is a time for courageous and strong government. It is not a time for government that might self-combust or that would be dependent on the whim of any mercenary Independents. This is a judgment call for the people.”

Fine Gael had no arrangement with any other party as the election approached and would be asking the people for the maximum number of votes and seats, he said.

Asked for Fine Gael’s seat target, Mr Kenny said he believed it could achieve a “substantial increase” on its current 51 seats. He said it would be presumptuous to predict what the people might decide, although they had a choice to deliver a mandate for a “really strong government”.

Mr Kenny said he looked forward to presenting his party’s five-point policy platform to voters around the country. The plan focuses on job creation; low taxes; a new health system based on universal insurance; smaller government and political reform. “With our plan, the old cynicism, the old cliches, the old ways are of the past and will remain of the past.”

Mr Kenny said Fine Gael was determined to return to Brussels to renegotiate the EU-IMF bailout deal. “We do not see ourselves renegotiating the period of the bailout beyond 2015, nor do we see ourselves renegotiating anything to do with the deficit, which we have accepted.”

Mr Kenny said he knew how people across the country were feeling. “I understand their anger. I understand the depth of their concerns. They’ve lost their jobs, in some cases lost their homes and people who have lost their families and their loved ones to emigration.”

The country was “far from banjaxed”, he added. “I see a bright and brilliant future.” The election provided an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate that politics could work, he added.