Enda Kenny’s claim of a 93% success rate in progress terms is insulting to the electorate, says Political Editor Daniel McConnell
Yesterday, Enda Kenny kicked off the general election campaign with a somewhat ludicrous claim.
Mr Kenny is on course to be re-elected based on current poll figures and he and Tánaiste Joan Burton published the last review of their work in office.
He said the Government he has led since 2011 has delivered on a whopping 93% of what it said it would do. Yes, 93%.
Here is what he said:
“We have delivered or made significant progress on 93% of the 714 individual commitments made by Fine Gael and Labour in the Programme for Government and Restatement of priorities.”
While this country is certainly in a better state than it was five years ago, Enda, it seems, has lost the run of himself.
Yes there has been progress on the economy, yes there has been progress on the numbers of people in work, and yes the cuts to tax rates in the last budget were welcome.
To claim a 93% success rate is insulting to the electorate Enda Kenny and Fine Gael appear hell-bent on patronising. What about the other 7%?
Well to begin, the area of continued crisis for the Government — health — barely got a mention at all yesterday, and for good reason.
Trolley numbers of in excess of 500, chronic overcrowding, unsafe accident and emergency departments ill -behove any leader claiming victory as Mr Kenny attempted to yesterday.
“A promise yet to be fulfilled,” is how junior minister Simon Harris described the failure to end the trolley crisis.
Various other commitments made before the election and in the programme for government have also been cast aside.
One of those promises was made on March 15, 2011, when Mr Kenny proudly told the Dáil “nobody will be left behind” as he announced his plans to introduce universal health insurance (UHI).
The Taoiseach claimed our two-tier health system would be abolished and replaced by “equal access to care for all”.
Health Minister Leo Varadkar told us predecessor James Reilly’s plans to introduce UHI by 2019 were too ambitious, and we have since been told they would have risked the financial viability of the State.
Also, in a case of complete selectivity about the truth, the report claimed Nama will deliver a €2bn “profit”.
This is simple hogwash.
Enda Kenny and his Government have agreed to crystalise a loss to the taxpayer of €40bn. The so-called profit relates to the €32bn the taxpayer, through Nama, paid for the bad loans in the busted banks, which were originally worth €72bn.
But, alas these are mere details. It is much easier to claim to be making a profit, even if it is not true.
Mr Kenny’s pre-election promises to cap special adviser salaries and stamp out cronyism were broken within weeks of his appointment in March 2011.
Since taking office, we have seen a litany of Fine Gael and Labour cronies appointed to senior positions in the judiciary and state boards at a rate that would make even Fianna Fáil blush.
A failure to reform the Seanad, the housing crisis, massively watered down reforms of the legal profession are among the main casualties.
On the day he took office, March 9, 2011, Mr Kenny said honesty wouldn’t be the Government’s best policy, it would be its only policy.
Yesterday, he blew that promise out of the water.
But sure, why change a habit of a lifetime if it means you will get re-elected?
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