Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on Public Expenditure Senator Thomas Byrne has responded to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan’s comments on being responsible for implementing the last Government’s budget.  Commenting on the latest CSO figures on the economy today, Minister Noonan engaged in bizarre self-congratulation saying “While our opponents, particularly in Fianna Fáil would say they announced the budget, it’s actually this administration that’s implementing it. It’s this Government that’s organising €6bn of adjustments on a day by day basis in the economy.”


Responding, Senator Byrne said “Minister Noonan’s hypocrisy is truly astonishing. It was only a few months ago that he and his colleagues in Fine Gael voted against Budget 2011. Enda Kenny described it as a ‘budget devised by bean counters to meet the fiscal targets set by outsiders’ while Noonan himself said there wasn’t ‘a single progressive idea in the budget to support job creation or to get our economy growing again’. Today, however, Minister Noonan is only too happy to take ownership of the budget and boast about the adjustments that have been achieved to date.”


 “One should hardly be surprised by this, however, as Minister Noonan has form on embracing things in Government that he once decried in Opposition. Having described the EU/IMF programme as a ‘disaster and an obscenity’ from the Opposition benches, he is now fully ‘committed’ to the programme saying that ‘Europe had been very good to us’.”