Thursday 14 December 2017

Electorate may be 'sleepwalking into a decision they'll regret' - Minister Bruton

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton. Photo Steve Humphreys
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton. Photo Steve Humphreys
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

JOBS Minister Richard Bruton has warned that the electorate may be "sleepwalking into making a decision that they will regret" as he continued to argue that Ireland will end up like Greece if the coalition isn't returned to power.

He said it's the most important election he has ever fought and claimed voters would be taking a "gamble" with other parties.

He was speaking in Birr, Co Offaly alongside Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the announcement of Fine Gael's plan for increasing exports in the wake of a poll that shows Fine Gael is down five points since the start of the campaign.

Mr Bruton put the situation into stark terms.

"I have been involved in a lot of elections but this in my view is the most important election that I've ever stood in because there is a real danger that Irish voters will sleepwalk into making a decision that they will regret for a great number of years to come.

"The truth is I can understand the hurt that people have suffered. I can understand the anger they feel but this is an election where people have to use their brain not their emotions because we have a choice here.

"We've a choice between a government who has a plan, that has a track record and has a proven ability to grow employment and to give dividends back as a result of that.

"And we have a contrast then with other parties who have no plan, whose track record has been dismal and who will not deliver the dividends that are needed because it's only a strong trading economy that can deliver those dividends."

He again referenced the difficult economic situation in Greece as a warning of what could happen here if the coalition isn't returned to power.

Mr Kenny was asked that in light of the latest Fine Gael fall in the polls, if his message wasn't connecting to the electorate.

He was asked if he had a plan B and if this was the time to use it.

"Our plan is plan A- Fine Gael and Labour are quite prepared to provide a stable government with experience and a programme and a plan to deliver a better future for everybody all over the country," he said.

Mr Kenny said there is "a long way to go in this campaign...

"We're only entering the fourth and final lap and the people rule here as they make the choice at the end of the day. Our challenge is to explain to them how you translate that recovery into the primary care centres, or the job or the lowering of tax or the school or getting rid of pre-fabs or whatever it might be.

"That's when they see that the country is recovering and that they're the beneficiaries of that progress, " Mr Kenny said.

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