Fianna Fail councillor Michael Smith has said that his party are ‘still in the frame’ for the next election.
He said that when Taoiseach Enda Kenny stated that the next general election will be fought between Fine Gael and Sinn Féin, he needs to be reminded that Fianna Fáil has not gone away.
“Fianna Fáil won the most seats in the local elections just nine months ago and will be in the frame for the formation of a new government whenever the election is held”, he said
Cllr Michael Smith said - ‘Notwithstanding the problems that the last Fianna Fáil government faced in laying the foundations for economic recovery, we have a proud history of achievement down through the years.
Having spearheaded major advances in our educational system, the time is now right for Fianna Fáil to spell out again how the next phase in this important area is to be developed.
“The universal social charge was brought in as an extreme measure when the economic situation required such a drastic step. Now that the economy is in somewhat of a recovery, Fianna Fáil must demonstrate how this burden can be eased.
“The story of patients on corridors in our hospitals is an unacceptable every day phenomenon. At the same time, we have hundreds of patients ready for discharge from our major hospitals. With empty beds in many of our nursing homes and spare accommodation in all our smaller hospitals, surely it is possible to solve both of these matters without delay.
“Shops and other business enterprises are closing down and many others are struggling from day to day waiting for some light at the end of the tunnel. Every day we meet individuals and families who are at the end of their tether trying to survive financially.
“I spoke to an old age pensioner suffering from diabetes. He has to find an extra thirty euros every week to pay for his medicines. His son attends a workshop for people with special needs and his benefit has been reduced by twenty euros a week.
“Before counting the property tax or any other of the increased charges, this family has suffered a reduction in income of two thousand five hundred euros a year. Already struggling before this happened, they are infinitely worse off as a result of this government’s harsh measures.
“Ministers telling people how much things have improved sounds hollow for families in these situations.
We are all witnessing a drift into a plethora of loose political alliances. They appear to have simple solutions for every problem and a pretence that no one will have to pay. The reality is different. The country will continue to require stability and Fianna Fáil is willing to play its part in the recovery of our economy and the improvement of conditions for our people.’