That Fine Gael/Labour spat September 4, 2012Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.
A sensible point was made in comments in today’s Irish Times in regard to the statement of Lucinda Creighton in relation to the Labour Party and mutterings about divisions between the Coalition partners on a range of issues. Creighton delivered a characteristically blunt assessment:
Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said yesterday it was not credible for Government backbenchers to suggest the recent announcement of a €130 million cost-reduction package by the Health Service Executive was a surprise.
“Whingeing and pretending that you were surprised by budget figures that were agreed last December is not really credible,” she said in an interview with The Irish Times.
“We all went into the Dáil chamber and voted for it, including all of the members of Labour and all of the members of Fine Gael. So let’s have the courage to stand over what we voted for last December and don’t pretend that it’s a surprise that the Department of Health has to meet certain targets.”
Playing games and scoring political points and talking about elections and trying to frighten people is really irresponsible and juvenile and I certainly would hope that people might desist now that we’re entering into the critical pre-budget period.”
Any suggestion that health did not have a big enough budget “is just nonsense”. Ms Creighton said Cabinet meetings between today and December would be dominated by budgetary discussions.
Indeed… but… but… what about this?
She also said the issue of pay would have to be addressed in a second “revamped, updated” Croke Park agreement.
And then – really getting into her stride she continued by:
…[suggesting] public service increments should be frozen for a few years. “We don’t have to take the increments off people, if you’ve earned them you’ve earned them, but freeze them for a few years. The country’s in crisis. We can’t put our fingers to our ears and pretend it’s not happening.”
On property tax, she said urban dwellers should not be “punished for their address”. Square footage and ability to pay should be taken into account.
Which brings me back to that sensible comment:
In summary, Labour shouldn’t whinge about cuts but Fine Gael are entitled to carp, whinge, moan and leak about Croke Park, college grants, property tax and anything else that takes their fancy.
Seems about right to me.