Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming said that the Government is showing utter contempt for the Dáil and the public by refusing to attend in the Dáil chamber during important debates.
Deputy Fleming was speaking after only four members of the Government parties and no member of the Cabinet attended for the opening of a debate on Irish Water moved by Fianna Fáil in the Dáil last night. This was a repeat of exactly what the Government did on budget night.
Deputy Fleming said: “Only last Tuesday evening, the day of the budget, Ministers and Government deputies abandoned the Dáil after Ministers delivered their speeches and refused to stay for the opposition response. The same level of arrogance and contempt for the Dáil was displayed last night. The longer Fine Gael and Labour try to run the Dáil like an absentee landlord, the more trouble they will get in.
“If the people look in at the debate we are attempting to have they will see the contempt the Government is showing for the debate on Irish Water. It showed contempt when it established Irish Water. It guillotined the legislation last December and did not allow a real debate.
“If I were to characterise the performance of the Government on the Irish Water fiasco, I would say one word sums it up, and that is “contempt”. The Government has shown it every single step of the way.
“This is the Government that promised a democratic revolution – that promised to reform how the Dáil does its business and increase debate, openness and transparency. At every level they have done the exact opposite.”