Burton: Government's focus on raising living standards should be 'relentless'
Joan Burton says the Government needs to focus "relentlessly" on raising living standards for low and middle-income families.
In her first message to all Labour Party members, the leadership frontrunner says voters are "unhappy" with the party's performance in Government.
The Social Protection Minister's message says: "The recent elections proved incredibly difficult. The voters were unhappy with our performance in Government, and our many fine councillors and candidates unfortunately bore the brunt of that anger.
"Although a modest recovery is under way, people aren't yet feeling it in their personal lives, and their families, friends and communities are still struggling.
"We have fallen short in giving our society the care and repair it so badly needs, which is why, if elected Labour leader, I will fight to shift the focus.
"We have concentrated on economic repair up to now. Now it's time for an equal emphasis on social repair.
"This means focusing relentlessly on raising living standards for low and middle-income families.
"It means building a social as well as an economic recovery -getting more people back to work, building affordable and social housing and new schools, investing in health and reducing inequality.
"Building that social recovery will in turn help us win back the trust and support of voters.
"We must do much more, of course, to recover as a party, and none of this will be easy.
"But then, in the long and proud history of Labour achievements that helped build a better Ireland down through the decades, none of them came easy.
"We fight for our beliefs, we fight for the common good and we will fight for the social recovery.
"I want to lead that fight, and that is why I want to be the leader of the Labour Party.
"I would be grateful for your support."