By Juno McEnroe political reporter
Finance Minister Michael Noonan dismissed Fianna Fáil claims of being responsible for the recovery and said that this was akin to Comical Ali claiming victory in Baghdad during the Iraqi war.
Delivering a sharp attack on the main Opposition party, Minister Noonan told delegates at the Fine Gael ard fheis in City West to remember back to five years ago.
When the economy had been in freefall, Fianna Fail had been left with just seven ministers after the rest of them ran away, he said.
Fianna Fáil had destroyed 300,000 jobs, added the Limerick TD, who received a standing ovation before and after his address to a packed room.
Motions during a session on the economy included calls to to ensure the much-hated Universal Social Charge is abolished completely over the lifetime of the next Government-if Fine Gael are returned to power.
Problems with housing, childcare, the marine sector, roads as well as a reductions in personal taxes all needed to be addressed by the next administration, delegates said.
Junior finance minister Simon Harris said that "it was time to treat self employed people of this country properly", equating their tax levels with employees.
Fine Gael in government would also ensure that social welfare traps would be removed if returned to power, said the Wicklow TD.
The ard fheis will hear motions on food, the possibility of a Brexit, crime as well as the leader's address from Enda Kenny later today.