Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Peter Burke, has responded to a call from Fianna Fáil Social Protection spokesperson, Willie O’Dea, for a supplementary budget to be introduced.
Noting that Fianna Fáil “couldn’t hold their pretence of prudence”, the Fine Gael TD noted that his political party adversaries were often caught “between a rock and a hard place.”
“They want to appear prudent and responsible, but they can’t help their natural inclination, which is to make an unending series of reckless spending promises.
“Despite briefing the media only a week ago that their election manifesto will contain limited spending increases we now see Deputy O’Dea calling for a supplementary budget to increase the State pension. It seems Fianna Fáil really can’t help themselves when it comes to reckless spending demands,” Deputy Burke remarked.
The Longford/Westmeath TD noted that his political party has increased office pensions since their term in Government commenced.
“Fine Gael have proven that as a party we can be trusted at the tiller. Since this Government came into office pensions have risen by €15 a week. This year, with Brexit, it was not possible to introduce an across the board raise in pensions, but the Government ensured that the most vulnerable in society were looked after and this included pensioners who are living alone. What is more, Fine Gael has committed to raising the pension each year linked to the cost of living if re-elected to Government.
“But the days of second budgets under the last Fianna Fáil Government are something that have been consigned to the past by Fine Gael’s even-handed approach to our economic management, it seems, however, Fianna Fáil have no problem in returning to those days.
“Fianna Fáil want to hoodwink the public into believing that they have learned their lessons from their reckless economic management in the past while still operating on a ‘spending for All’ basis. These two personas simply do not add up and it’s time for Micheál Martin to be honest with people about what his party actually stands for.
“In the first six months of 2019 research I carried out showed that Fianna Fáil had called for €4.35bn in additional spending, with no explanation as to how it would be paid for or provided.
“Now we see that this off-the-cuff approach to managing the public finances is still very much part of the fabric of Fianna Fáil.
“Despite having had time to reflect following their catastrophic management of the economy as a party they have failed to produce any substantial policies – their frontbench team is clearly lacking when it comes to having a handle on policy and what it takes to govern.
“With Brexit on the horizon we must adopt a steady and sensible approach to the public finances, clearly Fianna Fáil couldn’t be trusted with this,” Deputy Burke concluded.