Micheál Martin launches blistering attack on Fine Gael 'era of hype and spin'
FIANNA Fáil leader Micheál Martin has launched a blistering attack on the “new era of hype and spin” which he claims Fine Gael are bringing to government.
In his opening address to the party’s Ard Fheis in Dublin, Mr Martin said that since becoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has “nothing whatsoever to say about improving health services, developing education or addressing his government’s chronic lack of delivery – but he’s had lots to say about what he claims is an urgent need to communicate more”.
He told supporters there is “more political communications in government than at any time in our history and they now have a bigger budget than at any time in history”.
In Budget 2018 Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe set aside €5m for the new Strategic Communications Unit which has caused huge controversy since the Taoiseach originally told the Dáil it would be cost neutral.
“He has given up on trying to address chronic problems which have arisen on his party’s watch and he wants a relentless, politicised spin campaign to try and sell their image,” Mr Martin said.
He said Fine Gael, who government is propped by Fianna Fáil courtesy of a confidence and supply arrangement, are “out of touch” if they believe spending public money on slogans and media ads is a good idea.
“The Taoiseach says he’s only concerned about telling people what’s going on. Well people know about the waiting lists.
“They know about the 3000 children in emergency accommodation. They know about the rents and houses they can’t afford,” Mr Martin said.
“He needs to understand no one is being fooled by his new era of propaganda.
“And we have no intention of changing our core beliefs to fit some publicity campaign.”