Greens reject claims of 'joyless policies'
THE Green Party last night hit out at outspoken Fianna Fail TD Mary O'Rourke after she claimed some of their policies were "joyless" and "punitive".
The Fianna Fail backbencher's assessment of some of her coalition partners' policies drew an angry response from a Green Party spokesman, who said the former enterprise minister was not in a position to criticise.
"The person who came up with the Eircom shares sell-off shouldn't necessarily be talking about the Green Party's policies being hurtful to the consumer. Our policies are about creating jobs and incentives rather than punishing people," the spokesman said.
He was referring to Ms O'Rourke's role in encouraging consumers to buy Eircom shares -- which then plummeted in value, resulting in substantial losses for 500,000 people.
Ms O'Rourke's negative comments concluded a damaging week for the Greens after plans were revealed to clamp down on the use of commercially taxed vehicles for domestic purposes.
The Greens have also been at the centre of controversy over the stag hunting ban, hikes in ESB charges, introduction of carbon taxes and the potential introduction of water charges.
"All of their policies appear to be joyless and sort of punitive . . . We all thought being green would be 'happy happy' time," Ms O'Rourke said. "Some (voters) didn't realise that in the quest for green policies, that we were going to face such difficulties," she added.