Tuesday 24 April 2018

Pat Rabbitte: Labour TDs who remain in trenches for tough battles ahead deserve credit

Nation's problems won't be solved by Sinn Fein fairytale economics or Fianna Fail rewriting histor

Pat Rabbitte

How quickly we forget. Anyone from outside the country monitoring coverage of the Budget for the past two weeks would be forgiven for not understanding that less than two years ago we were at the edge of chaos. That we are still in a profound economic crisis. That we still have a huge public deficit. That we still rely on the EU and the IMF to lend us money.

Labour TDs and senators, of course, know full well that there is a crisis, because we meet its victims every day – the people in our constituencies who have no work, those burdened down with debt, those whose children are emigrating. This is the worst economic crisis since the Emergency and it has huge implications for our ability to manage our own affairs, now and into the future. But no one has been focusing on this for the past two weeks.

This country was plunged into crisis and we are by no means out of the woods. Labour didn't create the crisis and neither did Fine Gael, but we are the parties with a mandate from the people to deal with it. We knew going into government that it wouldn't be easy. We went in with our eyes open about the scale of the task and about the difficult decisions that would be needed to put things right.

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