Fianna Fáil criticises lack of detail in Taoiseach’s address

Very clear the Government’s austerity agenda will continue, Gerry Adams says

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said Enda Kenny touched on new initiatives but ’not in any detail’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said Enda Kenny touched on new initiatives but ’not in any detail’. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Mon, Dec 16, 2013, 11:37

Opposition parties have responded the Taoiseach’s televised address, with Fianna Fáil criticising the lack of detail given on initiatives to improve the economy.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath said Enda Kenny touched on new initiatives but “not in any detail” and was “very sketchy” on plans for tackling mortgages and unemployment.

“The one specific item that the Taoiseach did allude to was that there would be 2 million people at work by 2020,” Mr McGrath said of the address to the nation last night to mark the State’s exit from the bailout.

Mr McGrath said this would mean an increase in 100,000 people at work over the next seven years, leaving 300,000 people on the live register. “That will come as cold comfort for people without a job,” he said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Mr Kenny should also have spoken of some risks the country faces such as the international economy and trading partners, Mr McGrath said.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said that the address made it “very clear” that the “ the austerity agenda pursued with such devastating consequences by Fine Gael and Labour will continue unabated”.

Mr Adams said cuts to services, charges and stealth taxies would continue.

Nothing in Mr Kenny’s address would “provide any comfort or hope to those families who have borne the brunt of this Government’s brutal austerity policies”, he said in a statement.

The new economic plan which to address the jobs crisis “s the latest in a long line of similar announcements from this government, none of which have created any meaningful number of jobs,” Mr Adams said.

While the State had exited the bailout, Irish people would still be forced to pay back “a debt which is not theirs”, Mr Adams said.

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