Taoiseach credits people with bailout success

Kenny vows not to ‘blow away momentum’ because troika have returned home

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Irish people had ‘every reason to be proud’ as the country exits its bailout programme.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Irish people had ‘every reason to be proud’ as the country exits its bailout programme. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 17:00

“Our credibility is being restored internationally and our name is in good standing,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

“What we want now is for everybody to understand that by rolling up their sleeves and putting their shoulder to Ireland’s wheel we are going to beat this and beat it in style,” he told The Irish Times.

Speaking in Co Louth on the eve of Ireland’s exit from the bailout programme for which he credited the people, the Taoiseach added: “they have every reason to be proud”.

“It’s an important moment for Ireland and for our people. It’s an important moment psychologically that we are not driven by the requirements of a troika. We have has 12 successive analyses by the troika. They were making the decisions about what had to be done here. Those shackles are gone on Monday.”

He added: “This is an economic challenge, we have taken a bit weight off our shoulders. We still have a distance to travel but we are going to travel that distance with the people and making decisions in their interest to give them back a sense of pride in their country.”

Speaking at the Glen Dimplex plant in Dunleer where 25 jobs have been created and a Research and Development initiative launched, Mr Kenny warned that, unlike private sector exporters, the banking culture in Ireland has “not sufficiently changed yet”.

He referred to pending EU decisions on the sector as “unfinished business” which he hoped would be addressed by this month’s forthcoming European Council meeting.

The next responsibility for government was to ensure that any benefits arising from an improving economy are seen to be “spreading out to the towns and villages and parishes around the country so that everyone can feel proud to be Irish and can know that their government is managing the affairs of the nation in the people’s interest and we get on with providing the generation behind us with an opportunity to live and work here.”

Referring to suggestions by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan that an easing of the tax burden is possible, Mr Kenny said the Budget for 2014 was “now set”.

But he added: “As the economy improves, and it can only improve by careful management, I want to see the fruits of that expansion filtering out to the households around the country. That is what good government should be about.”

He said any move on income tax “would be decided on the basis of growth figures, what the income figures are and how best to deal with that in terms of giving relief where it can be given.”

The years 2015 and 2016 “would be important years”.

“We are not going to blow away the momentum that we have achieved just because the troika have returned home.”

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