Wednesday 26 October 2016

Renua laughs off claims by Fianna Fail that it is 'ripping off' its policies

Miriam Donohoe, Political Correspondent

Published 17/08/2015 | 14:25

Renua's Billy Timmins
Renua's Billy Timmins

RENUA Ireland today rejected claims by Fianna Fail that it is “ripping off” its  policies and repackaging them as their own.

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Speaking at the launch of its 3rd policy document in two weeks today Renua Ireland deputy leader Deputy Billy Timmins, made light of the accusation by Fianna Fail jobs spokesman Dara Calleary declaring: “Having been part of constructing our recent policies we were not even aware that Fianna Fail had policies in these areas. It is important to realise that many of policies would have been put there by various organisations already.”

Deputy Calleary claimed the two policy documents launched by Renua this month – one on public procurement and the other on SMEs and the self-employed – were almost identical to ones Fianna Fail put before the Dail.

Arriving for the launch of a third Renua policy today “Budgets & Modern Governance” Deputy Timmins said:  “I was going to say we are now going to launch policy number 41 belonging to Fianna Fail!”

He said: “Fianna Fail were in government for a long period in time I thought they would have had all progressive policies implemented. From our point of view  we are quite happy to see any policy, be it ours or others, implemented if it is progressive.”

“When we launched the party on March 13th we had 16 policies. Three of them have been launched since in a fanfare by government. It may have been coincidental or it may have been otherwise but we don’t care once its progressive and once policies are implemented.”

Deputy Timmins said in the last Dail he brought forward  a Good Samaratins Bill which was sent to the Law  Reform Commission, but which Fianna Fail have since regurgitated.

“I didn’t mind and complain as I was happy to see it implemented.”

In its policy launched yesterday Renua outlined a four-point plan to overhaul the budgetary and estimates process which he said does not provide genuine or meaningful protection to the public interest.

He called on the government to overhaul its method of financial planning by engaging in real-time budgetary review processes as distinct from a month long budget “seasonal soap-opera”.

“The budgetary process is a rubber stamping exercise in which neither government TDs nor the opposition have any opportunity to contribute or exert influence. It does not serve the public interest and it needs to be modernised.”

Renua wants legal powers of budgetarty oversight and scrutiny for Orieachtas Committess, and training and technical advisory support to help Oireachtas members undertake their work through the committee system.

The party is also calling for the existing method of budgetary accounting to be replaced with an accrual based system, and for an expansion of the powers of the Independent Fiscal Advisory Council to provide independent economic analysis of policy proposals.

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