Sunday 19 November 2017

'I started at the bottom like everyone else, don’t you lecture me' – Pat Kenny hits out at Sinn Féin TD's 'cheap shot'

Heated debate on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show this morning

Newstalk presenter Pat Kenny
Newstalk presenter Pat Kenny Newsdesk Newsdesk

Newstalk presenter Pat Kenny hit out at Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó’Broin for what he called a "cheap shot" during a heated debate on the controversial Universal Social Charge.

During a debate with the politician on his morning radio show, Pat Kenny questioned why the Sinn Féin TD would want to keep a charge which “gives half people's hard-earned money to Michael Noonan”.

“You’re supposed to be the working man's friend and yet you want to keep the regime where half of what you pay goes to the Revenue.

“People who work an hour's overtime and half of it goes to Michael Noonan, how is that fair?” he asked.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson responded with what the presenter dubbed a “cheap shot”.

“I would imagine I spend a lot more time with ordinary, average income workers than you do, Pat”.

Audibly incensed by Mr O’Broin’s remarks, Pat Kenny insisted that he started from the bottom like everyone else.

“Cheap shot, cheap shot, cheap shot. All my colleagues in Newstalk are not high earners. I know their difficulties. I am mature; I’ve earned a good living over many years. I started at the bottom like everyone else so don’t lecture me on the company I keep,” he retorted.

Mr O’Broin then tried to divert the conversation, by insisting that income received from the USC could be used to mend leaking pipes in Ireland and improve water infrastructure.

Pat Kenny then read out a text from one listener, who claimed he was “selling up my business, going on the dole, pay for nothing and expect to get everything for free. I’m a complete fool to pay my income and property tax to keep lazy people in a handy life – what a country we have.”

The heated debate this morning follows Minister for Housing Simon Coveney ruling out refunding those who had previously paid water charges, indicating his focus would be on retrieving unpaid charges from those who did not pay their bills.

The Dublin mid-west TD claimed after the budget that not providing an allocation for scrapping water charges would result in a €129m hole in figures, and called for the USC to remain so that it could go towards water and healthcare costs.

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