Sunday 25 September 2016

Kenny denies claim he is 'too close to business people'

Published 12/06/2015 | 02:30

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has brushed aside suggestions that his Government has unduly close links with business people including Denis O'Brien.

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Mr Kenny was responding to comments made by some Opposition deputies during a Dáil debate on the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry on IBRC on Wednesday. He said he would apologise to nobody for having ongoing contacts with business people.

The Taoiseach also rejected allegations made by Fianna Fáil public affairs spokesman Seán Fleming, who said Fine Gael in government had not responded to the Moriarty Tribunal findings. Mr Kenny said legislation was being prepared by the Public Expenditure Department and there were other reforms already implemented in response to both the Moriarty and Mahon Tribunal findings.

"I have a very clear view that it is important that we work with business to open doors for opportunity, for employment, and for jobs," Mr Kenny said.

"But there is no association, close or otherwise, with the party that I lead and any particular business people. I meet business people from all over the world and from every sector and all of those issues are about increasing our competitiveness and the creation of jobs," the Taoiseach said.

The Taoiseach argued that this was partly why Government job targets had been met. He said the Government's target of creating 100,000 jobs would be met earlier than expected.

"We have created 40,000 jobs this year, another 40,000 next year. We will have full employment by 2018," he said.

The Taoiseach also said legislation was ready to govern schools' admissions policies. But the issue of the ratio of places to be reserved for families of past pupils would be dealt with by regulations which were not yet prepared or discussed by Cabinet.

Mr Kenny said he would not speculate on what would be a correct ratio despite a 10pc level being proposed by the Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan of Labour.

Irish Independent

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