Election campaign 'all to play for' says Joan Burton

Election campaign 'all to play for' says Joan Burton

Joan Burton has said it is “all to play for” in the Election campaign.

Speaking to Sean O’Rourke on RTE One Tánaiste Burton said she was not at all worried by the latest poll that saw Labour at 8%.

When asked about the possibility of a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil coalition the Tánaiste said Fianna Fáil “drove the bus over the cliff” and did not deserve to return to power.

She said that not even Fianna Fáil knew how bad it was going to be when the Government took over five years ago.

Sean O’Rourke pressed the Tánaiste about broken promises to which the Labour leader reeled off a list of achievements from her time in office including 140,000 back to work and renegotiating the debt deal, reducing the interest owed to the Troika from €11bn to €7bn.

Looking to the future Mrs Burton said the Labour party was proposing to introduce a second year of preschool education, free of charge as well as a sugar tax.

Questioned about how she proposed to pass the sugar tax on fizzy drinks where Leo Varadkar has failed, Mrs Burton said perhaps she could be “more persuasive than Leo Varadkar”.

On the issue of homelessness, the Tánaiste was full of praise for her deputy leader Alan Kelly saying he had “provided a bed for everyone who wanted one and this was just the first step.”

Asked about Mr Kelly’s recent interview where he is quoted in saying “power is a drug” she downplayed the incident saying simply “That wouldn’t have been my approach”.

Mrs Burton described herself as an optimist and said she planned to make the best of it, regardless of the situation.

She said she was very ambitious and discussed her position as the first woman leader of Labour.

Moving on to the subject of crime, Minister Burton said “resources were not an issue” and mentioned how she had re-opened Templemore in 2014 and the plans to recruit for the next two years.

Finally mentioning Gerry Adams and his proposal for abolishing the Special Criminal Court, the Tánaiste said he was wrong and should apologise to the public.

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