Monthly Archives: October 2015

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Explaining our plan

Category : Enda Kenny

The next General Election will be vitally important to Ireland.

People will have a clear choice between stability and economic progress on the one hand; and chaos and uncertainty on the other.

A clear choice between the proven record of Fine Gael and the Labour Party on the one hand; or risking Ireland’s hard-won progress with those who wrecked Ireland’s economy several times in the past, or those whose policies would surely wreck it in the future.

This recovery cannot be taken for granted. It has to be secured and strengthened. Only a strong and well managed economy can generate the resources to invest in our public services and protect our vulnerable citizens.

Fine Gael has a plan to keep the recovery going. It’s a plan based on enterprise, not speculation.

When we were elected to office in 2011, we made two core promises to the people of Ireland – to fix the public finances, and to get our country working again.

We must now build on the fulfilment of those promises.

Over the coming months, I look forward to explaining our plan to the Irish people.

It will be up to the people to make their own judgement on our record to date, and on which party has the best plan to keep the recovery going.

On both questions, I believe that we in Fine Gael can make our case with confidence.

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Today We Announced Cuts To The USC

Category : Enda Kenny

I know that the last few budgets have been hard, but they made it possible for us to exit the bailout, reduce our debts, and move into a real recovery.

The top priority of this year’s budget is to keep that recovery going, while providing relief and better services for the Irish people.

Today we are announcing cuts in the USC, which will give people a little more money in their pay packet.

We are also employing more nurses and doctors for the health service; introducing more affordable and quality childcare and we are ending the unfair treatment of the self-employed in this country.

These are sensible, affordable steps that will keep the recovery going and bring its benefits to you, your family and friends.

This is in stark contrast to the alternative fantasy economics of those in opposition who wrecked the economy in the past or those who would surely wreck it in the future, if we let them.

I need your ongoing support and help in explaining to people how this Government can be trusted to continue managing the economy in a way that will keep the recovery going and bring its benefits to more households.

Enda Kenny TD,

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Make working worthwhile

Category : Enda Kenny

The Government has already implemented a series of measures aimed at making work pay and, at last night’s annual Dublin Chamber of Commerce Dinner, I took the opportunity to outline Fine Gael’s plans to further reform the Irish social welfare system, if re-elected.

These plans are essentially about promoting work over welfare and would involve the rolling out of a new ‘Working Family Payment’ targeted at low-income families. This will supplement, on a graduated basis, the income of a household while at the same time incentivising more hours and full-time work. This new in-work payment, in conjunction with our tax plan and increases in the minimum wage, will combine to make working worthwhile which is our ultimate aim.

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Stronger together

Category : Mairead McGuinness

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the European Parliament, Strasbourg this week (Wednesday) for an historic address to the Parliament with the French President François Hollande. It was the first such joint address by German and French leaders since 1989 when President François Mitterrand and Chancellor Helmut Kohl debated the end of the Cold War with MEPs.

Before addressing the plenary chamber, I joined my EPP Group colleagues for a special meeting with Chancellor Merkel at which she spoke of the need for solidarity and understanding and for courage in pursuing our goals in other areas of EU policy.

“When EPP governments are in place, we see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she said, commenting on the recent election results in Portugal. She also highlighted the success of Ireland in exiting the EU-IMF bailout programme and spoke of how countries can emerge stronger after a crisis, having implemented the necessary economic reforms.

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Heart Health

Category : Mairead McGuinness

While this week’s survey on the nation’s health reveals that obesity levels in Ireland have fallen slightly, they are still much too high at 60%. The Healthy Ireland survey said four out of five people surveyed reported good health, but a further look at findings showed a low take-up of exercise, particularly amongst men.

Surveys such as this, which involved 7,500 households, are a good reminder to be more health aware every day.

I recently had the opportunity to meet Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis in Brussels to highlight the need to raise greater awareness about heart disease ahead of World Heart Day.

Scientific evidence shows that physical activity, a balanced diet and a good environment are all vital factors for a healthy heart.

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Arts in Education

Category : Mairead McGuinness

Creative Engagement exhibition opening
Collins Barracks, 3 October 2015
Speech by Vice President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness MEP

This is an education for me today and a very pleasant one!

We mark the tenth anniversary of Creative Engagement – an arts-in-education programme organised by the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals.

Creative Engagement is a cross department and agency collaboration – co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills, the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Heritage Council.

It is a celebration of the arts-in-education in Ireland.

I was reminded in coming here today that we are not talking about art education, but a much broader concept of arts-in-education.

With arts-in-education, an outside artist or arts group comes into the school and works with students.

There are many fine examples of that creative collaboration here today.

The creative engagement comes from the interaction between the artist or arts group and the students.

The work that emerges from that interaction is wide ranging: from film and theatre to music and sculpture and dance.

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An important step

Category : Enda Kenny

This week marked the launch of the Government’s €27 Billion Capital Plan, which will create 45,000 new jobs and deliver vital infrastructure across the country. The plan will be rolled out in a range of areas including transport, education, health, housing and flood protection.

It is important to note that not everything we wanted could be included in the plan. We have to continue to manage our public finances in a prudent and careful manner. The plan does, however, represent an important step forward in our journey of recovery.

On Monday, I was in Galway to launch a partnership between Kylemore Abbey and Notre Dame University. This world class institution of education will bring students on a range of courses to the location in Connemara as well as their Dublin base at O’Connell House. I also opened the Lambe Institute at UCHG. This fantastic centre brings together research, engineering and clinical trials under one roof. I met patients whose lives have been dramatically enhanced as a result of the work done there.

It has been another good week for jobs. On Wednesday, Accenture announced 200 new jobs in Ireland and yesterday, in Naas, I opened the Kerry Group’s Global Technology and Innovation Centre. This innovation will support over 900 jobs with a much wider positive knock-on impact on the economy.

Today I am in Meath and Monaghan. In the afternoon, I will open JAIN Irrigation Systems’ new plant in Monaghan. Every single new job created changes one person’s life. That is why our focus remains on securing this recovery and making sure it is felt behind the door of every home in the country.

Very best wishes.

Yours sincerely,
Enda Kenny TD