Government not taking people’s sacrifices for granted, says Kenny

Taoiseach says some people beginning to experience economic recovery

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he could assure people that their efforts and sacrifices to date would neither be taken for granted nor squandered by the Government.

“The resources we have at hand will be used to promote ever more job creation.

"It is by returning our country to full employment that we can best reach our goal of making Ireland the best small country in the world in which to do business, raise a family and grow old with dignity and respect.''

Announcing the reshuffled Cabinet, he said the economy had continued to recover strongly since Ireland exited the EU-IMF bailout. “Vital though this is and was, I emphasise that economic recovery was never the end in itself.


Public services

“Economic recovery is about creating the kind of environment where enterprise and jobs can thrive, where we can provide people with the kind of public services they deserve, where they can put a decent roof over their heads, and where we can give people confidence and security in their lives so that they can see from day to day that the great sacrifices they have made for the recovery will have been made worthwhile.’’

Mr Kenny said he was pleased to say that some people were beginning to experience this already.

“For them at last confidence is creeping in, life has improved, and when I meet them I can see the relief and new hope in their faces and attitude.

“However, many more people are not yet experiencing the upturn, and they have yet to see and measure the benefits of the recovery in their lives.’’

New phase

Mr Kenny said he wanted to pay tribute to the workers of Ireland as the country entered a new phase of recovery.

“Despite waves of economic instability they got out and got to work, and, because they did, they got us and the country back to work. Today we owe our workers our recovery.’’

The Taoiseach added: “Today I say to them, particularly to the middle-income and low earners, that I know it has been galling and tough, and I know that at times the anxiety has been very difficult.’’

He said the Government had already removed 330,000 earners from the universal social charge. Its introduction by a previous government brought the top rate of tax to 52 per cent for individuals and families on average incomes. This was neither right or tolerable for them nor sustainable for the country.

“The Government wants to make work pay for Ireland’s families,” said Mr Kenny.

“Now especially we want to make their lives that bit better and easier.’’

Michael O'Regan

Michael O'Regan

Michael O’Regan is a former parliamentary correspondent of The Irish Times