Fine Gael Minister Leo Varadkar tonight confirmed the negative impact of his colleagues’ ill-discipline and continued leaking of budget proposals.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann within the last hour in response to questions from Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection, Willie O’Dea TD, the Minister commented, “As the Deputy knows, last month we had the highest consumer confidence recorded in five years, albeit lower by historical standards.  Within a month that had fallen by ten points, probably due to Ministers and others talking about child benefit cuts, property taxes and all sorts of things.”

Deputy O’Dea commented: “This is a startling admission for a senior Minister to make. Over recent months we have consistently warned of the damage that is being done to the economy by Ministers jockeying for position and leaking budget proposals. Now we see a senior Minister acknowledge the point and link the comments of his colleagues to a measured collapse in confidence.

“The Minister is correct, but is he making this same point to his colleagues around the Cabinet table?  Has he relayed his concerns to the Taoiseach?  Is anything being done to try and put a lid on this destructive and self-serving briefing that is going on every day?

“The people want certainty, they want fairness and they want clarity. This Government, despite their many promises, are providing none of these things,” concluded Deputy O’Dea.