Friday 20 October 2017

Manifesto is thin on how to pay for pledges

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, spokesmen Leo Varadkar and Richard Bruton listen as Finance spokesman Michael Noonan outlines the party's fiscal plan. Photo: Tom Burke
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, spokesmen Leo Varadkar and Richard Bruton listen as Finance spokesman Michael Noonan outlines the party's fiscal plan. Photo: Tom Burke

Eilish O'Regan Health Correspondent

THE Fine Gael manifesto champions a range of health causes -- including compensation schemes -- but contains nothing to indicate how much these would cost or how long they would take to implement.

The party has already made the introduction of universal healthcare insurance -- including free GP care within 10 years -- one of the cornerstones of its policy platform.

But yesterday it unveiled a range of measures which the outgoing Government claims are unaffordable.

Among Fine Gael's promises are a no-fault compensation scheme for children damaged at birth; €10m a year more to tackle suicide; and a new quango, the Patient Safety Authority.

When asked why no price tag or timetables were available, the party's health spokesman Dr James Reilly said: "I don't know how big the hole will be yet. If I get to keep the health budget, I will be able to implement -- through efficiencies and savings -- the plan that we have made out. We will give costings on health insurance on Sunday."

Irish Independent

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