Topics for Elections Leader's Debate

Topics for Elections | Leader’s Debate 10 Takeaways

Here are the top 10 takeaways from the Leader’s Debate.

1) Trust: Fine Gael need to go out and earn the trust of the voters

• This election comes down to who you trust

• FF raised taxes and reduced spending, FG cut taxes and increased spending

• FF cut hundreds of hospital beds, FG put them back

• FF let the Troika in, FG got a good Brexit deal for Ireland and restored our reputation internationally

• FF will take us back to the boom and bust

• FG haven’t fixed everything but we have put country back on its feet

• We will build a country we can look forward to.

2) FF’s flawed SSIA policy

• FF proposal to revive the SSIA scheme simply would not work, would do nothing for supply and would drive up house prices.

• FG’s if back in Government plan to increase the Help to Buy Scheme to €30,000 would build on the successful current scheme which has helped almost 16,000 people to buy their homes.

3) Rebuilding Ireland is working

• “We built 21,000 new homes last year – a ten year high.

• That’s 21,000 families who are sitting around the table tonight in a home that wasn’t built last year.”

4) Fine Gael: Empathy backed by proven Action

• Fine Gael is a party that not only cares, but backs this up by proven action.

• The Gov has increased the minimum wage. Extended maternity leave, free GP cover, should our empathy in the action they take.

5) FG versus FF’s record on Health

• I acknowledged that there is still much to do but pointed there are some successes.

• “FG brought in free GP care for under 6 and over 70s and introduced the public health alcohol bill.

• We ended means tests for children with disabilities.

• We are training more GPs than ever before, we are putting more primary care staff in place, we have agreed a contract deal with GPs and with consultants.”

6) On FF’s health record

• “Number of people waiting to see a specialist wasn’t even published nor were trolley numbers published when Micheal Martin was Health Minister.

• “FF took 1400 beds out of our hospitals, we are putting them back in. 600 back in already, 3 new hospitals this year, new wings in Waterford and Clonmel.”

7) Pensions

• I have listened to people on the doorsteps.

• FG accept there is an anomaly and will introduce a State transition pension to address the matter.

8) Brexit

• Brexit is at halftime and FG has the time to protect Irish interests in next phase.

• If we don’t get a free trade deal, our economy will slow down.

• We have the best team with contacts and relationships to deliver trade deal (Varadkar, Coveney and McEntee)

9) Coalitions

• Fine Gael is in it to win this election. Fine Gael will not do any deal with SF.

• In relation to Fianna Fáil, he said if the numbers fall in a certain way, while it is not his preference, FG will work with FF to ensure stable Government.

10) Crime

• The  people of Drogheda and Cork have his full solidarity.

• We are the party of law and order, FG reopened Templemore, resumed recruitment and introduced biggest ever Garda budget.

• Fine Gael will replicate inner city task forces in places like Drogheda.