Wednesday 22 November 2017

Taoiseach Enda Kenny tells gardai 'not all good suggestions are affordable'

A total of 1,900 gardaí are set to lose their pay increments over the next 12 months for
refusing to sign up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement. Stock Image
A total of 1,900 gardaí are set to lose their pay increments over the next 12 months for refusing to sign up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement. Stock Image

Sean Duffy

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny urged Gardai “to talk within the mechanisms we have“ as he addressed the issue of scheduled Garda strike action in November, adding “it is not possible to do everything that one would wish to do. We simply don’t have resources.”

Mr Kenny said there would be intense negotiations in the weeks leading up to the budget but added “not all good suggestions are affordable. Many of them simply can’t be met and won’t be met. We have to decide on what the priorities are based on the resources we have. That’s the job of Government and we will do it”.

The Taoiseach was speaking at the Irish Management Institute’s National Conference where the theme for the year’s event is “Managing Disruption-Seizing Opportunity”, and he used the platform to state that: “Now is not the time to take foolish risks”

Mr Kenny emphasised that there would be 800 new Gardai added to the force over the coming year saying the new posts would “be of critical importance in rebuilding the strength of the Garda force”.

Mr Kenny once again addressed the issue of Ireland’s tax sovereignty: “We will continue to defend 100pc our 12.5pc corporation tax rate. It is written into the European treaties that is a matter of national competence and nobody can change that. It is not going up and it is not going down. That is the case across all sectors, across all regions and across all businesses”.

The Taoiseach also spoke about the importance of stability in the face of economic and geopolitical uncertainty. He said the upcoming Brexit negotiations were “a top priority for every Government department and Minister”. Mr Kenny hinted at the possibility of hard Brexit for the UK: “there is hard bargain to strike here at the end of the day. The discussions that take place around the European Council table are not going to be easy either.”

Mr Kenny reiterated Ireland’s commitment to the EU and the Eurozone. He said membership of the EU had transformed Ireland from a “backward, introverted” country to a place that is open to the world.

Ireland’s tax arrangements with multinationals have come under scrutiny in recent months, but Mr Kenny defended the Government’s record on international tax matters: “We are one of the foremost country’s on the issue of tax justice. We are right out on the forefront of the OECD response to the phenomenon of moving money through different jurisdictions. We’ve gotten rid of the stateless concept, we’ve gotten rid of the Double Irish and we were the first country to introduce a knowledge box fully compliant with OECD requirements,” he added.

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