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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019
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Enda Kenny says more tax cuts are on the way

He also ruled out going into coalition with Fianna Fáil or Sinn Féin.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said that more tax cuts are on the way, but rejected the suggestion that it is populist strategy in the run up the elections.

In a wide ranging interview with RTÉ’s This Week radio programme, Kenny said that there is a strategy in place and that it is not a one year focus.

He confirmed that more tax cuts are on the way for people before spring 2016.

Kenny said the government want to particularly focus on easing the tax burden for those between €30k and €70k.

More than 420,000 people currently do not pay the Universal Social Charge (USC), he said, adding that it is his aim to increase that to 500,000, and take 25% of the work force off the USC.

Economy 

“I know hundreds of thousands of people still struggle here,” he added.

“We are not going back… we will not let our economy to fall back.”

He said he will not risk the benefits that have been gained by the peoples’ hard work.

The Taoiseach was then asked if further tax cuts will simply remove much needed funds that could be invested in the health service.

He said the current state of the health service is “not acceptable”, but said that the availability of money was not the only solution needed to fix the problems.

Kenny said the priority was to hire more front-line staff, and therefore reduce the long waiting lists around the country.

Health 

“We are not going to get this right this year,” said Kenny, who argued that the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has a clear agenda on achieving improvements.

Kenny was asked questions about a variety of topics from the economy, Irish Water and the future of his party.

Speaking about the next election, he ruled out Fine Gael going into a coalition government with Fianna Fáil or Sinn Féin stating that he did not want to see the country “handed back to those that wrecked it”.

He said he could see no circumstances where Fianna Fáil should be given the opportunity to get “back into the driving seat of government”.

Speaking about the Sinn Féin party he said that it did not want to be in government, calling them a party of protest.

He added that its economic policies are “off the wall”.

Kenny said that he had heard a number of “constructive suggestions” from those that are independents, but said that Fine Gael would be putting up a “strong fight” in the next election.

Reacting to today’s interview, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said it was “all about the general election”.

But the reality for struggling families listening today, is one of crushing austerity taxes, a health service in disarray, and the forced emigration of their children.

What Irish citizens need and want is a change of political direction and that means a change of Government.

Read: Enda Kenny and Joan Burton were given a serious dose of (virtual) reality today>

Read: Here’s why all of the opposition TDs walked out of the Dáil today…

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