Fine Gael TD for Meath East and Government Chief Whip Minister Regina Doherty, has said that people know better than to swallow Fianna Fáil’s twisted version of reality.
“In Budget 2017, the Government took steps to make the lives of people a little better, while also ensuring that we protect the economy to safeguard our future.
“I was disappointed, but not surprised, to hear the claim from Michéal Martin that his party had succeeded in blocking what he called Fine Gael’s increasingly right-wing agenda and focus on tax cuts for the wealthiest. This is simply not true and just the latest example of Deputy Martin’s attempt to re-write history and twist reality.
“Fine Gael will not apologise for seeking to reduce taxes to give workers a break and make our economy more competitive. However, as a party, we also prioritise targeted investment in key public services. Budget 2017 is a firm example of that.
“The truth is that it does not have to be either tax cuts or public spending; we can do both, but only thanks to Fine Gael’s careful economic management of recent years, and the work of the Irish people. The reality is that we could do neither if Fianna Fáil and Michéal Martin had been allowed to keep hold of the reins and continue their destruction of our economy.
“Another simple truth is that Fianna Fáil in fact wanted more tax cuts that Fine Gael did prior to the last election. Their manifesto had €2.92bn worth of tax cuts, while the tax package in Fine Gael’s manifesto amounted to €2.46bn. This budget is consistent with Fine Gael’s policy of a split of greater than 2 to 1 between public spending and taxation, as clearly outlined in the Fine Gael manifesto.
“Budget 2017 reflects the identity and principles of the Fine Gael party – equality of opportunity, enterprise and reward, security, integrity and hope. Only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.
“It is thanks to Fine Gael’s careful economic management of recent years, and the work of the Irish people, that we now have the resources to target investments in key public services and reduce taxes. Fianna Fáil destroyed this country’s economy; but with the help of the Irish people we have worked tirelessly to put it back together.
“At the core of Budget 2017 is continued responsible management of the public finances. I don’t need to remind anyone that gains we have made as a country are hard won and fragile. It is only by remembering the mistakes of the past that we can avoid making them in the future. For this reason, it is vital that we reject Fianna Fáil’s twisted version of reality.”