A number of spokesmen for Fine Gael held a Public Jobs meeting in Dundalk on Monday night, chaired by Jim Darcy of Louth County Council. The keynote speakers included FG TDs Enda Kenny, Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Fergus O’Dowd.
On a national level, Kenny is mostly aiming to change two things: the economy and the political ideology which is currently lead by it. These are obvious goals to any interested political party, but there was still ambiguity as to how they would acquire the money needed to achieve their objectives. €18 Billion is what they claim to require in order to fix Ireland’s economy climate and, for the most part, their model is based on Germany’s – a model which has seen growth in trade and a decrease in unemployment during the recession. However, any further national loans or financial injections could potentially call for future austerity orders from the EU Central Bank, or worse still the IMF, as witnessed in Greece.
Enda Kenny’s general message for the night appeared mostly focussed on job recovery: “Fine Gael has the team and the plans to get our country back to work and back on track. Across a wide range of areas we have come up with detailed plans to fix our broken economy, radically overhaul our public services and transform the nature of our political system.”
Leo Varadkar began the meeting with “Jobs, not Bailouts”, focussing the FG’s main political objectives on budget, banking, real economy, reputation and social necessities, of which he stated that Fianna Fáil “had only focussed on the first two”. He claimed that if FG came to govern that they would set up a National Recovery Bank, cut job tax, lower cuts on Capital spending and; create internships and educational opportunities for the unemployed on the live register.
Simon Coveney similarly focussed on the economy, albeit with trades more appropriately suited to the town of Dundalk. He opened by stating that Ireland needs a government “to be at least ambitious about trying to get the economy going again”. He praised Dundalk’s leadership in the area of renewable energy, specifically DkIT’s wind turbine.