Sunday 27 May 2018

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin in scathing attack on 'right wing' Fine Gael

Micheál Martin. Photo: Mark Condren
Micheál Martin. Photo: Mark Condren
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin has said Fine Gael will “decimate” and “privatise” public services if re-elected to Government.

Mr Martin also attacked Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s plan to introduce a US-style tax system in Ireland saying it will result in public funding being slashed for health, education and housing.

“Our view is Fine Gael ideologically is very much to the right. It is a very right wing party particularly in terms of how it has evolved over the last number of years,” Mr Martin said.

“It wants to privatise large areas of the public service, particularly the health service,” he added.

Mr Martin said Fine Gael’s US-style tax rates will result in “severe cuts to public services”.

“You can’t have US tax rates without really slashing expenditure and investment in health, housing and education,” he added.

Mr Martin said Fianna Fáil is a "party of the centre" which is a "bit to the left".

Cork South West TD Jim Daly hit back at the Fianna Fáil leader saying he should concentrate on developing a jobs policy rather than "returning to populist politics and attempting to rewrite history".

“Unlike Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael has a long term plan to keep the recovery going. Our plan will create more job opportunities generating the resources to abolish the USC and invest, reform and improve frontline public services," Mr Daly added.

Mr Martin also insist he will not “target” senators he wants removed from the Seanad after the Irish Independent revealed fears among sitting senators that the Fianna Fail leader is seeking to “exterminate” some members.

He also pledged he will not draft a list of preferred Seanad candidates as he did before the election in 2011.

“We will be stronger after this general election but we don’t ever stop anyone from running and any senator who gets a nomination will be fully entitled to run,” he said.

He also slammed the Labour gay marriage ad as “bad taste”.

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