Leo Varadkar: Government has made ‘a lot of unforced errors’

Tanaiste says coalition has got off to ‘a pretty rocky start’ as Dáil breaks for six weeks

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said the Government has got off to ‘a pretty rocky start.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said the Government has got off to ‘a pretty rocky start.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

 

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said the Government has got off to “a pretty rocky start” and there has been “a lot of unforced errors that could have been avoided”.

In a video message posted on Twitter on Saturday, Mr Varadkar said the Dáil is now on holidays for six weeks, adding “that does not mean we’re on holidays for six weeks”.

“TDs will still be working in their constituencies, ministers still working in their departments. Indeed we’ll have a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

“But I will be taking two weeks off to explore the Wild Atlantic Way, apart from that I will be working,” Mr Varadkar said.

“I know the Government has got off to a pretty rocky start, a lot of unforced errors that could have been avoided. But that shouldn’t obscure some of the really good things that the Government actually got done in the last couple of weeks.”

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment said this included the July stimulus plan, the plan to reopen schools and legislation to extend low cost loans to small and medium businesses and extend the pandemic unemployment payment and wage subsidy scheme.

The Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party coalition has been faced with a number of controversies since it was formed at the end of June.

Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen was sacked after it was revealed he was banned from driving for three months in 2016 following a drink-driving incident.There was further controversy over a wage increase for three super junior ministers which was subsequently revised downwards.

This week the Government was forced into a U-turn over people on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment being able to travel abroad without having their payments halted, while the Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan voted against a Government Bill and subsequently resigned as her party’s chief whip.

Mr Varadkar recorded the message at Dublin Castle where the North-South Ministerial Council met on Friday.