Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson and Deputy Leader Brian Lenihan TD has responded to today’s quarterly update on the EU-IMF deal.  He said, “Today we witnessed a remarkable transformation in Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin.  Two of the most vocal critics of the deal when it was announced, now talk about their satisfaction with its progress and its importance in maintaining the country’s public services.
 
“This is the same deal, with the same political priorities identified by the last government.  The only difference is an additional cost of approximately €400m to the taxpayer to fund a reduction in PRSI.
 
“There was much rhetoric during the press conference about openness and transparency.  However, both ministers failed the only two real tests of this claim:
 
1.         How are they paying for the reduction in PRSI?
2.         What tax raising / service cutting deal have they already agreed with EU/IMF officials to fund any jobs initiative?
 
“Yet again, the Irish people will be reminded of the shrillness and negativity of these parties while in opposition and will contrast it with their adoption of the same policies and priorities as the last government when faced with the same choices.”