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Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore outside Government Buildings today Hugh O'Connell
Three years on

Taoiseach: We’ve achieved ‘excellent results’ – but taking credit is ‘the fallacy of fools’

Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore launched the third annual report on the progress made on the programme for government in Dublin today.

Updated 11.05pm

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY had admitted that there are still many people in the country who “do not feel any sense of change in their lives” as he today hailed the progress the government has made over the last three years.

Launching the 2014 annual report on the programme for government at a sun-kissed Government Buildings in Dublin, Kenny claimed that the coalition has achieved “excellent results” in implementing the measures in the document.

He said that there has been “progress” on 80 per cent of all of the commitments and 60 per cent of those commitments are “either delivered or substantial progress made”.

Kenny said that 2014 will see a “relentless focus on job creation” and added: “Clearly the bailout was not an end in itself.

“It is the start of implementing two priority targets: create more jobs, and the fact that so many people in the country do not feel any sense of change in their lives for the better.”

The Taoiseach restated commitments to get unemployment below 10 per cent by 2016 and to create ‘full employment’ by 2020 and promised that legislation to set up a strategic investment fund of around €6 billion will be published shortly.

Accompanying Kenny was the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore who said that the priority for the government in the forthcoming budget is “to help hard-pressed families” if the public finances allow.

“There also has to be recovery in the money that people have in their pockets at the end of the month,” he said.

‘Fallacy of fools’

Kenny admitted there were three areas where the government did not achieve what it had set out to do, noting the failure to abolish upward only rent reviews.

He said that where the government has failed it is because of constitutional or legal complications or because it was found to be “not practical” to implement the stated policies.

Despite the production of a colourful annual report document, entitled ‘Year 3: After the Bailout’, a press conference, and nearly all of the government’s Dáil time this week being devoted to debating the government’s agenda for 2014, Kenny said the coalition is not looking for credit.

“I’ve often said, It’s a fallacy of fools in politics to look for any credit,” he said.

“This is a work in progress. We’re not going to grade ourselves, obviously in the Spring of 2016 all grades will be known. Our job is to fulfil our mandate.”

The opposition is taking a dim view of the government’s media briefing today, with Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty pointing out that the government has failed to sufficiently tackle the mortgage arrears crisis.

“This is a government that promised much in tackling the mortgage crisis but has actually made the situation twice as bad,” he said. “In March 2011 the numbers in arrears of over 90 days was 6.3 per cent, today’s figures show it now stands at 12.6 per cent.”

First published 2pm.

Three years on: 7 promises the government has delivered on… and 7 it hasn’t

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