Kenny preaches message of economic recovery and political certainty as he opens Ard Fheis

Taoiseach and ministers emphasise message that there is no viable alternative to a Fine Gael government

Kenny preaches message of economic recovery and political certainty as he opens Ard Fheis

Enda Kenny speaks at the opening of the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Dublin Photo: Rollingnews.ie

Opening the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Dublin tonight, Enda Kenny said their message to the people will be that to keep the recovery going the coalition needs to be re-elected. 

He has outlined a three-step plan - focussing on Jobs, Welfare Reform and Housing.

“The central and key question in this election is who can be relied on to keep the recovery going,” he said.

“Job creation must remain the top priority” he said, adding that the second step would be to “ensure that work pays.”

“Too many families are trapped on welfare. Fine Gael will reform the system to make sure that work pays more than welfare,” Mr Kenny said.

“That means completing the abolition of the USC over the next 5 budgets; introducing a new Working Family Payment to ensure that all working parents earn at least €11.75 per hour; and more help with childcare, including a second free pre-school year, already announced.”

Third, he added that “the resources generated by a strong economy, with more and more people at work, must be invested in sensible and sustainable improvements in our key public services – more teachers in the classroom, more nurses on the wards and more Gardaí on the streets.”

Mr Kenny also launched an attack on Fianna Fáil.

The Taoiseach said that when Fine Gael came to power there were “Tens of thousands forced out of the country in search of work, the public finances out of control, the banks on the brink of collapse. The country in a bailout.
“That’s what Fianna Fail left behind when the people voted them out,” he said.

The Taoiseach also thanked the Labour party for their work in Government in the past five years.

“This plan will build on the work done by Fine Gael and the Labour Party over the past 5 years, and I thank them for their work in Government.,” he said.

The Taoiseach listed an increase in jobs, returning emigrants, the departure of the Troika and the beginning of “the process of rebuilding our public services” as major achievements of his government, before adding that “(d)espite this economic progress, I acknowledge that many people have yet to feel the benefits of the recovery in their daily lives.

“That’s why keeping the recovery going is so important because it will enable us to ensure real improvements in people’s lives. It can only be delivered through a strong economy,” he said.“So the fundamental and central question facing the Irish people in this election is – who can keep the recovery going?”

“So the fundamental and central question facing the Irish people in this election is – who can keep the recovery going?” Earlier, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said definitely said that he does not favour a coalition with Fianna Fáil.

Earlier, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said definitely said that he does not favour a coalition with Fianna Fáil.“I don’t want to go into government with Fianna Fail. I believe they did huge damage to our country

“I don’t want to go into government with Fianna Fail. I believe they did huge damage to our country i their last term in office.

“We’re going forward to ask people to consider voting for ourselves with the Labour party, to ask them to give them a preference after they voted for a Fine Gael candidate.“We look at all the options that are up on the Opposition benches, we’d ask people to consider that

“We look at all the options that are up on the Opposition benches, we’d ask people to consider that.

“There isn’t an alternative government there that is capable of keeping the recovery going and capable of giving us stability,” he added.