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"We have to be more sensitive, obviously" --- Phil Hogan's response to Election 2014

The Environment Minister acknowledged that “people are hurting” but said that after three years of tough decisions “you expect people not to be rewarding you for that”.

Image: Niall Carson/PA

FINE GAEL DIRECTOR of Elections Phil Hogan has acknowledged that the Government needs to be more sensitive to people’s concerns in the wake of a disastrous mid-term poll result.

After a ‘shellacking’ for Labour and a poor performance from FG, it’s expected the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle will be more wide-ranging than originally anticipated

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore are set to meet later to discuss the fallout from the weekend’s results.

Speaking on RTÉ radio this morning, Hogan said that after three years of tough decisions ”you expect people not to be rewarding you for that”.

However, acknowledging the message sent by voters, he said “we have to be more sensitive obviously, because people are hurting”.

Asked whether it was still the Government’s intention to bring in €2 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts in the next Budget, the Environment Minister said:

“Well I think the last thing we want and the last thing the people of Ireland want is for us to start throwing money around again after coming through all the difficulties that we’ve had.

We have to keep our fiscal shape. Otherwise all the sacrifices people have made – and they have made a lot of sacrifices – will be for naught.

“We do not want to go back to the bad old days,” Hogan said.

On the subject of the anticipated reshuffle, he said it was a matter for the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste to decide between themselves.

Read: Election 2014 Liveblog: Monday’s European and local results as they happen 

Read: Who is your new local councillor? Here’s a list of everyone elected so far

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