Tuesday 17 January 2017

Taoiseach: It is my intention to hold General Election in Spring 2016

Published 11/10/2015 | 12:51

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ended speculation surrounding the prospect of a November election in a move that will come as a major relief to the Labour Party.

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Mr Kenny today said it is his “intention” to hold the General Election in the Spring of 2016 and that he sees “no reason” for him to change his mind in the coming weeks.

The Fine Gael leader insisted that he has always been consistent in his position that the election should be held in the Spring – despite days of intense speculation surrounding a November poll.

“I have been consistently very clear in this. It is my intention to hold the election in the Spring of 2016,” Mr Kenny told broadcaster Áine Lawlor on RTE’s ‘The Week in Politics’.

Pressed on the prospect of a November election, Mr Kenny insisted: “I see no reason to change my mind”.

The prospect of an early election dominated political proceedings this week and caused ructions within the Coalition.

Some Labour TDs said any decision to call an early election would threaten all trust between the two parties.

But Mr Kenny’s intervention today has completely dampened that speculation.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny also announced plans to fly the tricolour at half mast on all State buildings during the funerals of the Carrickmines victims.

“It’s an unspeakable tragedy,” Mr Kenny told the programme.

“I join all others in sharing the expressions of sympathy for the families that have lost loved ones in their lives. It’s a horrific tragedy,” he said.

Mr Kenny’s RTE interview took place just days before the Coalition’s final budget before the election.

He rejected assertions that a Giveaway Budget is on the cards, adding that the Coalition will stick to its plans to introduce adjustments of €1.5bn.

Mr Kenny said the process will begin in terms of phasing out the USC.

“People hate the USC but you can’t get rid of it overnight”, the Taoiseach said.

On the trolley crisis in emergency departments, Mr Kenny said the Government “haven’t succeeded” in bringing to an end people lingering on trollies.

“People should not be trollies in the way that they are.”

He said he expects numbers to reduce by the end of the year.

Mr Kenny also said water charges will remain in place if he is re-elected Taoiseach.

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