Creighton: we "need to pass the Budget"

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davidcochrane
In a blogpost on her website today, Fine Gael TD for Dublin South East writes that the budget needs to be passed in order to restore certainty into the economy.

Her website is down at present (something they're aware of), but they've passed on to me her post which is below in full.

Confronted by Difficult Choices

We face an enormous challenge right now. People are rightly furious with this Government. They want retribution and they want it now. Labour and Sinn Fein have fed off this anger in recent months. They have been competing in the anger stakes for some time now. I can understand that people will identify with such sentiment, but surely what we need now is not short term populism, opportunism and manufactured anger. What we need are cool heads, truth and rational solutions. Anger will not save the country. It may make us feel better, but surely we need something more?

I agree with my colleague Paschal Donohoe. He has warned that whipping up national anger will only serve to damage this country and he is right. The best medicine we can administer to Fianna Fáil is a trouncing in the next election. We will have our chance to do that in the New Year. In the meantime we have to offer stability and certainty to our people. We also have to try to restore our country’s tattered reputation on the world stage. Dessie O’Malley has always been my political and personal hero. He is a true patriot who put the nation’s interest first, even when ridiculed by his own party and many of the political commentators. He made a profound statement on the Marion Finucane Show yesterday. To paraphrase, he said this country is on the brink of the abyss. The damage that could be inflicted on our little nation by pushing it into further budgetary and political disarray is simply unquantifiable. He said that it is imperative that the budget tomorrow be passed.

Now I don’t pretend to have all the answers to our economic crisis, but I do think that shouting angrily across the Dáil chamber is no solution. Every member of the Dáil must reflect on what would be achieved by voting against the Budget. Sure, we will all outflank each other on the angry stakes. We can thump the table and clap ourselves on the back for giving Fianna Fail their just deserts. But what are the implications for our country? I believe Dessie O’Malley is right. We will be catapulted into a further downward spiral, further wrecking our international reputation and generating more uncertainty for people who are already terrified about the financial situation for themselves and their families next year.

We in Fine Gael have agreed to the target of reducing our deficit to 3% of GDP by 2015. We have agreed that we have no alternative to other than to achieve a budget “adjustment” of €6 billion in 2011. We agree that the emphasis must be on expenditure reductions rather than tax increases. This has nothing to do with the IMF deal. This is a bad deal and we will seek to renegotiate its terms in Government. Our support for the budgetary targets is simply based on the fact that we must get our spending under control if we are to continue running our schools and hospitals. We must be able to plug the €20 billion gap that now exists between what we take in through taxes and what we spend on keeping this country ticking over. This is not a matter of choice – it is necessity.

With all of this taken into consideration, is it reasonable or fair to postpone the necessary decision? The quicker we introduce certainty into this economy, the quicker we can get on with the business of planning for a brighter future. I am optimistic that we can have a bright future. Passing the budget would facilitate budgetary certainty. People will know where they stand in planning their own personal and domestic budgets for 2011. We can then focus on the type of political change that is necessary to restore confidence and pride in our people and in our country. Political parties can set out their ideas for economic recovery and compete for public support for their policies. This, in my view is the type of optimistic election campaign we need – not one which degenerates into a race to the bottom, fighting over who will have the angriest outburst in the Dáil this week. This showmanship, shallow politics is the root of our current political and economic crisis. We need an election which focuses on solutions to our woes, rather than simply rehashing these woes on a daily basis. Our people and our country deserve better than that.

I’m sure that my opinion on the need to pass the Budget has generated some ire amongst many people. I respect their viewpoint as I hope they will respect mine. My sole interest and my only motivation in political life is to do what I believe is the right thing for the country. I may not be rewarded electorally for being guided what I believe is right and rigidly sticking to that principle. That is the risk I will take to stand by the Rebublic that I am so passionately committed to. I’m not and never will be a populist TD. That may well be my downfall, but so be it. I stand prepared to deal with the consequences.
 


paulp

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not populist?
certainly publicity seeking
 

Sync

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I don't disagree with any of the above. But if she's gone ahead with this without party approval, then the party's well within their rights to dump her.
 

greengoose2

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That lady is not the full shilling! Before the damned budget is voted on her party, along with the rest of the opposition, should read the thing. This is precisely why the bank bailout failed. It was a nonsense to begn with and was presented as a panic measure. We subsequently found out that the issue has been discussed beforehand. Same applies to the recent financial nonsense.

Perhaps Ms Creighton could team up with FU2 Gogarty and they could roll around the floor and utter inanities together.

FG have lost my vote for this which is a pity. My man would have been Richard Bruton but if he is the same colleigate as that silly lady he should get out quickly!
 

Simply

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To do the right thing for the country needs the right people even if they are doing the same things as the wrong people !
 

nicht besonders

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This budget, because of the EU/IMF plan it seals, is designed to perpetuate uncertainty.
 

spotty

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Spotty <3's Lucinda. And frankly, the bludget is going to pass anyway, so it doesn't matter.
 

Aindriu

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One word for her:

Traitor
 

ivnryn

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I don't disagree with any of the above.
Every "national interest" policy by FG just gives FF more time in power. Even if each one was technically better for the country, (and I don't think this one is), it needs to be balanced with keeping FF in power for longer.
 

sport02

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Could someone shut this woman up.
She is such an attention seeker, hope she loses her seat in the next GE.
 

inchicore_republican

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The budget vote will show us who in Fine Gael, Labour and independents are prepared to walk the walk instead of the verbal diarrhoea they are coming out with day after day. Vote No To The Blood Budget.
 

Mission Rock

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Its unbelievably stupid to support a budget without knowing what's in it. Sure, we know the headline figure of a €6 billion adjustment, but we don't know the detail of how it'll be achieved. Lenihan might attempt to achieve this in a manner with which Fine Gael fully agree. He might also attempt to do it in a manner which Fine Gael regard as unfair, or in a manner which they believe might cause too much damage to the economy. Lucinda is saying she doesn't actually care! In Lenihan she trusts. Fine Gael would do well to rid themselves of a loose cannon like her.
 

Tig

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Fair enough - I think plenty of people will view this as pragmatic and reasonable.
 

harpsman

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Is she not doin Enda a favour by ensuring budget passes w/o fg havin to abstain.
seems like win win to me
 

westie12

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The budget vote will show us who in Fine Gael, Labour and independents are prepared to walk the walk instead of the verbal diarrhoea they are coming out with day after day. Vote No To The Blood Budget.
I'm sorry to say that in all probability there will no walking from any of the groups that you mention.
 

adrem

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Arguing that she should "wait and see what's in the budget" is a bit pedantic - we know whats in the budget in broad terms - we know the amount and a fair amount of the detail from the 4 year plan.

In broad terms I don't think the rigid application of whips always aids democracy and as such I would like to see more politicians of all persuasions being more open to standing up for what they think rather than simply sticking to what the whip tells them.
 

QuizMaster

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One abstention may not be enough. It might take half a dozen. And even then it will only be to facilitate a few gombeen men who do the dirt on their own budget in an attempt to save their seats. How kind of FG.
Meanwhile Labour can stand aloof of the whole affair.

Basically FG blinked first, thanks to Lucinda.
 


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