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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Joan Burton had a go at RTÉ live on air this morning

The Tánaiste also said she trusts the Irish people to use the water grant for what it was intended for.

Updated 11.20am

14/9/2015. Labour Party Think-in 2015.Tanaiste and Source: Eamonn Farrell

JOAN BURTON TOOK a swipe at RTÉ live on air this morning, saying: “I don’t know what world RTÉ inhabits, perhaps in Dublin 4″.

When put to the Tánaiste on Morning Ireland that an increase in child benefit is not a targeted approach, she said:

I think that is quite an extraordinary statement by RTÉ that child benefit doesn’t benefit families with children.
I don’t know what world RTÉ inhabits perhaps in Dublin 4, but I can tell you right across this country in towns, villages and cities, families with children look forward to more support.

The Tánaiste defended her party’s actions over the last number of years, saying it took on a “difficult job” and it did their best.

Labour has agreed on a vote transfer pact with its government partner, asking voters to give Labour candidates their number one and two votes, and then remaining votes to Fine Gael.

Urging voters to elect a Labour/Fine Gael government again, she said:

We stand to actually improve life for everyone in this country.

She said Labour is focusing on improving child benefit, an improved childcare package, and cutting the Universal Social Charge.

However, she indicated that there would be no reversal of the back-to-school allowance.

Irish Water

Addressing the issue of water charges and the water conservation grant, Burton said the Irish people are honest and she fully expects those who have registered with Irish Water to use their water conservation grant to “address their responsibilities”.

She was asked about that Labour poster from the last election, which continues to haunt the party.

The poster states that a Fine Gael government would impose water charges. The Tánaiste said the water grant has helped offload the cost for people, making it “fairly modest”, she said.

download (4) Source: Irish Election Literature

The water conservation grant of €100 is available to those that have registered with Irish Water.

However, it is also available to those that have not paid their bill.

“I am very confident the Irish people are very honest … and deal very honestly with the government.”

She said she believes that those who have registered with Irish Water intend to pay their bills.

Yesterday, Irish Water confirmed that just over 50% of households had paid their bill. However, it also indicated that more people had moved away from paying from direct debit.

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Burton said the figures for the new utility is “exactly how we expected it to be”.

She added that she anticipated those that take up the conservation grant will “address their responsibilities”.

Getting Ireland back into ‘recovery mode’

Continually pressed about what Labour actually prevented on the poster Burton said her promise in the last election was to get Ireland back into “recovery mode” stating that is what her party has done.

“That was our primary promise.”

She said in terms of social protection, Labour has protected all of the weekly rates, created 110,000 extra jobs and Ireland now has a 9.5% unemployment rate, which is down from 15%.

We prioritised rescuing the country.

“Ireland has a great future” and we should be “talking the country up, not trying to talk the country down”.

First published 09.30am

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