07 December 2010

Hobbs calls for strong new government with Fine Gael in Leading Role

At a packed public meeting on a snowy December evening, the night before a harsh budget was delivered in the Dail, economic guru Eddie Hobbs told Lucan residents that a new government, with a fresh mandate, needs to renegotiate the terms and conditions of the IMF bail-out. The meeting, organised by local Fine Gael Senator, Frances Fitzgerald heard from a number of experts in the economic field who gave their perspective on ‘What Next For Ireland?’. Leo Varadkar, a Fine Gael colleague of Frances Fitzgerald, explained their party’s proposals for economic recovery while Michael McLoughlin of Amarach, a locally based market research agency, spoke of the need for a new administration to revive consumer confidence. Hobbs urged Fitzgerald and Varadkar to play their part in ensuring that a new government does not push left wing policies that will prolong the current economic conditions.

Fitzgerald, who will be a candidate for the Lucan-Clondalkin area in the next general election, organised the event to give residents the opportunity to share ideas and opinions with these industry experts.

At the meeting, Eddie Hobbs, famed for his television series Rip Off Republic, stated that the fundamental problem with the proposed ‘bail out’ of the Irish economy is the interest rate and the cost to the exchequer of making repayments.

“The next government, which I hope will be Fine Gael led, needs to renegotiate new terms with the IMF,” said Eddie Hobbs at the event.

“People used to ask me is my money safe in the bank? Today they ask is my money safe in Euro? There are three possible negative scenarios. One, Germany, whose economy is actually doing very well at the moment, will leave the Euro weakening it substantially. Two, that the Euro will split into two currencies – the Euro Strong and the Euro Light. And thirdly, the growth of economic nationalism and hard-left policies. The ideal scenario, as far as I’m concerned, is that excess debt is centralised and supported by European bonds and this is something which is being discussed at the moment. The next few months are going to be crucial for the survival of the Euro ,” Hobbs explained to his audience.

“If the Euro breaks up, the EU is over. Political will is needed to get us through the next few months and sensible strategies.

‘We cannot tax our way out of this. We need sound economic policies coupled with job creation. 4 out of every 10 voters went into the ballot box last election and voted rogues into government. Politics shouldn’t be like the X Factor, it shouldn’t be about personalities, it should be about a cabinet team with integrity that can make the right decisions. I have four kids myself, so tonight I say to Leo Varadkar and Frances Fitzgerald, Fine Gael need to save them from having to leave this country,” said Eddie Hobbs.

Hobbs also spoke about the need for a tough approach to be taken to the public sector claiming that reform cannot be achieved through partnership. He stated that a ‘chainsaw’ needs to be taken to the public sector.

Leo Varadkar outlined Fine Gael’s recently announced alternative budget and 4 Year Strategy which is built around three pillars:

1. Limiting tax increases to one-quarter of the adjustment next year, and one-third of the adjustment over four years;

2. Radical public sector reform to end waste, inefficiency and duplication, starting with the political system;

3. And a jobs and stimulus plan.

Speaking after the meeting local general election candidate Frances Fitzgerald stated “Fine Gael will need to win as many seats as possible throughout the country in order to ensure that their policies for recovery are implemented.”

“We have the people, the policies and the expertise to turn things around. All we need is the mandate. At the next general election every person in the country has an equal say as to who the next Government will be. Fine Gael is not afraid to take the tough decisions that are necessary to get us out of this mess. We have already laid our budgets and proposals out for all to see and have tasked Richard Bruton with the challenge of creating a blueprint for public sector reform. We are being transparent in our proposals and I hope that at election time people will choose to give us the mandate to lead Ireland to recovery and create new opportunities those currently without hope, many of whom are on our dole queues. Armed with nothing but a pen it’s the people’s will in the ballot box that will decide the future for our country,” concluded Senator Frances Fitzgerald.

Fine Gael’s alternative budget and 4 year plan can be viewed online at www.francesfitzgerald.ie.