Vote yes to give Ireland a stable government to rebuild the economy and renew our society – Fine Gael

-   Fine Gael Press Office

Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, have strongly encouraged Fine Gael members to vote yes to a progressive Programme for Government, that will give Ireland the stable government needed to rebuild the economy and renew our society following the Covid19 pandemic.

They were speaking at a Special Facebook Live Delegate Conference today (Sunday), for Fine Gael voting delegates across the country.

An Taoiseach and Leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar said: “This Programme for Government gives the country what it needs; a stable government with a working majority in the Dáil and Seanad, which can last through to 2025. As leader of Fine Gael, I am satisfied with what’s contained in the programme – it places a real priority on the economy, on getting people back to work and getting businesses back open again.

“It also focuses on the need to reduce the deficit year on year once the economy returns to growth, and crucially from a Fine Gael point of view there is a very strong commitment on tax, with no increases in income tax or USC in the years ahead.

“Other Fine Gael priorities in the document include a focus on home ownership and a strong commitment to rural Ireland, including a new REPS scheme, which will be worth about €1.5 billion to farmers over the next 10 years.

“For my party, it is an opportunity to have a third term in government, allowing us to protect the gains we have made while also giving us a chance to fix some of the problems we haven’t managed to fix so far. I hope that by this day week, we could have a new government in place, so we can get on with leading Ireland through the next phases of the Covid-19 crisis.”

An Tánaiste and Deputy Leader of Fine Gael, Simon Coveney said: “Ireland has just suffered another major shock and I firmly believe it is vital that politics works right now and produces a stable and long-lasting government. Fine Gael always puts Ireland first and should be part of that government.”

“Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party can provide a stable and progressive government at a time when the country needs hope and optimism. Our big challenge over the next 12 months will be to get hundreds of thousands of people back to work.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

  • Fine Gael has embarked on an intensive programme of engagement with its elected representatives, special delegates and grassroots members in relation to the Programme for Government.

  • Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, public meetings and large scale gatherings were not possible. Therefore our engagement was virtual, but meaningful.

  • Last week we held a series of regional Facebook Live Q&As for the Fine Gael membership, with senior ministers and members of the Programme for Government negotiating team.

  • Our main event is the special online delegate conference via Facebook Live on Sunday 21st June at 5.30pm for our 390 special delegates across 39 constituencies (details below). The event includes a Q&A session with the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste, with Chair of the Executive Council, Fiona O’Connor, acting as convener. Members had the chance to submit their questions in the lead up to the event.

  • It can be viewed online via the Fine Gael Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/FineGael), the Fine Gael Twitter Page (www.twitter.com/FineGael), or the Fine Gael website (www.finegael.ie).

  • The Taoiseach has also met with the Parliamentary Party and is holding a series of conference calls with Fine Gael’s 250 city and county councillors.

  • Since the election and throughout the negotiations, Fine Gael also held regular discussions with party representatives and members, to ensure Fine Gael’s voice was fully heard throughout this process.  This included:

    • Consultation on a constituency basis by the Fine Gael Reference Group,

    • The Taoiseach held a series of virtual engagements with Fine Gael groups and also spoke with YFG, the Intercultural Committee, LGBT group, Council Chairs and party whips, to gather their views,

    • The Parliamentary Party regularly met online to discuss and give their views on a potential Programme for Government.

  • The Programme for Government is available here: https://www.finegael.ie/

Further detail on Fine Gael’s electoral college:

  • The approval of the Programme for Government shall be carried out on the basis of an Electoral College system of voting with the votes of each electors weighted as follows:

  • The parliamentary party (50% of the total poll) comprises 52 votes (35 TDs, 12 Senators and 5 MEPs).

  • The Constituency electors (25% of the total poll) are ten delegates from each of the country’s 39 constituencies meaning 390 votes. [*The ten are chosen as follows: Five (Constituency chairman, secretary, constituency organiser, membership officer and youth officer) and five others from the constituency.]

  •  Local public representatives (15% of the total poll) i.e. county and city councillors which are circa 250 votes.

  • The Executive Council (10% of the total poll) has about 25 votes.

  • All in all, just over 715 voters are eligible to vote.

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