Sunday 25 March 2018

Leo writes to Garret over jibe and then has cut at State fees

Aine Kerr, Political Correspondent

FINE Gael young gun Leo Varadkar has written to former party leader Garret FitzGerald after criticising him in the Dail -- but stopped short of offering a full apology.

Mr Varadkar caused consternation within Fine Gael when he compared current Fianna Fail Taoiseach Brian Cowen with Dr FitzGerald.

He then said that Dr FitzGerald had "trebled the national debt" and "destroyed the country" while he was Taoiseach.

After criticism from party colleagues, Mr Varadkar has now written a letter to Dr FitzGerald repeating that the comments were "over the top". But he stopped short of offering an apology. "I sent him a letter," he said. "I do regret saying it -- but some of what I said was true, and I can't take that back."

No response has yet come from the former Fine Gael leader, according to Mr Varadkar, who was yesterday launching a bill calling on the Government to slash prices for items such as passports and prescriptions.

Every household in the country would save €400 a year if these charges were reduced by an average 5pc, according to Fine Gael.

While prices in the private sector fell by 2.5pc last year, Government prices went up by 6.7pc.

The Government sets the prices for items such as the television and drivers' licences, passport renewal fees, A&E charges, prescription charges, state exam fees and college registration fees.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News