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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 21 October, 2019
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Micheál Martin calls out Fine Gael as an 'out-of-touch and arrogant government'

Speaking at the party’s Ard Fheis, he said Fine Gael “simply don’t understand the pressures which people are facing every day.

Image: Sam Boal

FIANNA FÁIL’S MICHEÁL Martin has said his party is determined to offer the people a “real alternative to Fine Gael’s out-of-touch and arrogant government”. 

Speaking at the party’s Ard Fheis in Citywest, he said Fine Gael “simply don’t understand the pressures which people are facing every day in finding a home, in giving their kids a good start, or in being able to get the right treatment or therapies when they need them”.

He added:

The economy in general is doing well because of the education, skills and enterprise of the Irish people, but many families and communities are still struggling. They look around and they wonder if anyone understands.
They look at the news in the evening, full of claims that everything is great and has never been better and they wonder what planet these ministers are living on.
And of course they see the flashy announcements, followed by massive overspends and a near complete failure to deliver and they rightly question where the basic competence is.

Martin said the housing emergency “is the worst of it”.

“Tonight there are nearly 10,000 people in emergency accommodation and scandalously 3,500 of these are children.

“Through this winter, every night over 150 people have been sleeping on the streets of our capital city. And what have we heard from Fine Gael?

“Their leader announced ‘we have a plan and it is working’,” he said.

Martin also hit out at Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, stating that he celebrated the latest housing figures, “which show a perfect record for his government of missing every target”.

“When faced with 3,500 homeless children, the Taoiseach went to his Árd Fheis and announced an unaffordable €3 billion tax cut weighted to the highest earners. That tells us all we need to know about his priorities.

“Homelessness is the hardest edge, but every single element of housing policy is in crisis,” he said.

Whether it’s young people trying to find a decent place to rent at an affordable price, a new family looking for a home they can afford, or older people trying to move to a more suitable house, Ireland’s housing policy is failing, said the Fianna Fáil leader, adding that his party has been putting “immense pressure on for a new approach”.

He said Fianna Fáil “is determined to return to the days when the state fulfilled its basic duty of making sure that all its people have the chance to buy or rent a decent place to live” and defended extending the confidence and supply deal in light of Brexit, stating that it was the right thing to do.

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