Kenny's address 'pointless and condescending'


UNITED LEFT ALLIANCE:THE INDEPENDENT TD whose name was pulled out of a hat to respond to Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s “state of the nation” address described Sunday night’s statement as “pointless and condescending”.

Thomas Pringle, who represents Donegal South West, was selected to speak on behalf of the 16-member Dáil technical group. He accused the Government of being “more focused on the Bundesbank than the people of Ireland” in the course of his pre-recorded three-minute address which was broadcast on RTÉ television just before the 6pm news bulletin yesterday.

“The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, in his address last night said you are not responsible for the mess we are in. Yet his Government insists on making us all pay for the mess. The budget that is now upon us today and tomorrow will make us pay even more for the mess that we did not create,” he said.

Mr Pringle said the country was on its knees and inequality was growing, with each “austerity budget” set to increase inequality. The Coalition’s pre-election promises were not only “being broken, but shattered” and the Government seemed unable to take on board new ideas. “If we only asked the higher-paid and wealthy people to pay the European average tax rate we could reduce the need for much of the public spending cuts,” he said. “The Government seems to prefer to squeeze middle- and lower-income groups into a state of paralysis.”

Turning to the euro zone crisis, he predicted Mr Kenny would “give Ireland’s independence away once and for all”. He added: “When the proposals for integration come from Germany and France, the Irish people need to demand a referendum.”

Mr Pringle described the technical group as “diverse . . . with many varied ideas”. Seven of the group expressed an interest in taking part. People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd-Barrett and Socialist deputy Clare Daly had been keen, along with Independents Shane Ross, Stephen Donnelly, Maureen O’Sullivan and Mick Wallace.