Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has welcomed confirmation from EU / IMF representatives that the decisions taken by the last Government to restore Ireland’s public finances are working.

He has also welcomed confirmation from the Troika that the Government has complete freedom in its budget setting process – the only condition being that the Government meet its commitment to achieve the 8.6% deficit target and that the budget not harm competitiveness.

Deputy Martin commented, “I welcome today’s confirmation that the decisions taken by the last Government to restore the public finances, difficult as they were, were correct.  Equally welcome is the fact that the Troika, in discussion with the Fianna Fáil delegation, confirmed that the only obligation for government is to stick to the 8.6% deficit target and that they do not harm competitiveness – two principles that all mainstream parties are already committed to.

“For too long, this Fine Gael / Labour Government have got away with claiming credit for decisions they didn’t take and policies they voted against consistently. Now the time has come for them to finally start making their own decisions and what do we see?  We see the Comprehensive Spending Review being hidden from the public until after the election and the EU/IMF Funding Deal being blamed for every unpopular policy choice.

“Fine Gael and Labour were elected on the basis of a long list of very specific promises.  These promises were made in full knowledge of the country’s economic situation.  The only thing that has changed since the promises were made is that the public finances are recovering more quickly than expected and the Government has more resources available to it than previously thought.  And yet, most of these election promises have been abandoned and communities which point out the broken promises are told that they misinterpreted what they heard.” 

The Fianna Fáil delegation, led by Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath TD, met with EU / IMF officials yesterday afternoon for a wide ranging discussion and emphasised the party’s commitment to restoring the country’s public finances.