The challenges that remain

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The challenges that remain

Category : Enda Kenny

This spring, the Irish people will be asked to make a very important decision – whether to elect a government which will continue on our present path towards recovery or else to choose an alternative option that will take the country in a different and potentially very uncertain direction.

I genuinely fear that to take the second option would be to jeopardise all the hard work and sacrifices of the Irish people in recent years which have brought the country to a much more secure place than we were in five years ago. We are now in a position of ongoing recovery, a recovery which we wish to see completed.

I was joined by the Tánaiste on Monday to reflect on the progress we have made, and also the challenges that remain, for the launch of the final annual report on the Programme for Government agreed between the Fine Gael and Labour parties in March 2011.

And there has undeniably been progress. Today, Ireland is the fastest-growing economy in Europe. In fact, across the five years of Government we have delivered or have made significant progress on 93% of the 714 individual commitments contained in our joint plans.

The reality is, however, that for some families, there is still too much anxiety, too much worry about making ends meet. Unemployment, while falling, still remains too high. Our public finances are still not fully repaired. Our public services and infrastructure need more investment. We have a plan to change these things. We just need the time to do it.

The signs of our ongoing recovery were very evident yesterday morning in the East Point Business Park where 450 new jobs at Oracle were announced. Oracle’s commitment to Ireland goes back 30 years now and I was delighted to join them there in their newly expanded facility for this welcome news. Oracle’s growth in Ireland reflects the growth in jobs experienced by the economy since the Government took office which has seen unemployment down to a seven year low of 8.8%.

New jobs are now powering Ireland’s recovery and we are determined to keep that going with our long-term plan.

Very best wishes,
Enda Kenny TD