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Taoiseach ditches 'report cards' on ministers

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ditched his much-hyped "report cards" on the performance of ministers.

After a year in office, the Coalition will today publish a report on its progress on policies so far.

But Mr Kenny is rowing back on his populist announcement to the nation on the 'Late Late Show' last year that he was marking every move by his ministers. "I am starting the report cards already," he said last May.

Again, at Christmas, he promised to keep his ministers' "noses to the grindstone" by publishing a report on their performance.

But yesterday, Mr Kenny's spokesman dismissed talk of such graded assessments: "There are no report cards."

Today's report will only be an assessment on the progress of each policy mentioned in the Programme for Government, broken down by department.

The previous Fianna Fail-lead governments conducted the same exercise for several years.

Rather than the high level of accountability promised by Mr Kenny, the report will not be critical about any lack of implementation and nor will it contain any commentary on an individual minister's poor performance.

Mr Kenny has met with all his ministers over recent months to discuss the progress in their areas.

He also set up a new office in the Department of the Taoiseach which was translating the Programme for Government into "action points" for each minister.

Reforms

He has claimed this would allow him to see which ministers were delivering on the reforms which had been pledged in their departments.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore last night insisted the Labour Party will last the full five years in office, despite the criticism of the party's role in power so far.

Mr Gilmore yesterday told the Irish Independent he disagreed with claims Labour was failing to exert influence in Government, compared to Fine Gael.

He also said he was undeterred by poor opinion poll figures since the general election.

"The measurement that I am using for this Government is not any particular week's opinion poll. The measurement I am using for this Government is to do what we were elected to, which is to bring about the economic recovery, to get investment, to get jobs, get things moving again in the country," he said.

Mr Gilmore said he was disappointed with the resignation from the Labour parliamentary party of three TDs over the year, but said the party would stick to its task in office.

"Nobody likes to lose three TDs, but I think that has been a function of the fact we have to make some very difficult decisions. We have made those and we are sticking with the decisions we have made and the approach we have taken," he said.

Irish Independent