28 Jan 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.”
• 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.
• 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)
• 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.
• 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.