This is the full text of Thomas Pringle’s televised address to the nation at 6pm on Monday, December 5.
“Good evening, I am Thomas Pringle, TD Donegal South West representing the Independent Technical Group made up of Independent TD’s and TD’s from the United Left Alliance.
“We are a diverse group with many varied ideas but we all have the ability to work together and agree on important decisions on a way forward for the country.
“The Taoiseach Enda Kenny in his address last night said ‘you are not responsible’ for the mess we are in Yet his government insist on making us all pay for the mess. The budget that is now upon us today and tomorrow will make us pay even more for the mess we did not create.
“Increasing Carbon taxes when thousands of families and elderly people are in fuel poverty. Increasing VAT when retail sales have declined for 44 months in a row. We live in a country that is on its knees and inequality is growing year on year and each austerity budget will increase that inequality. “The government expect us to suffer at least another three years of these budgets.
“The government constantly say that the opposition does not offer solutions. We in the technical group were the first to put mortgage debt on the agenda of the 31st Dail. I along with others submitted proposals to the Minister for Finance that they did not even look at or consider. Is this what the Taoiseach means?
“It is said that recessions give an opportunity to change the way things are done. I believe that this opportunity is being lost. It’s more of same n a different branded package, pre-election promises not only broken but shattered and this government seems unable to take on board any new ideas or use critical thinking when we are in crisis.
“If we only asked higher paid and wealthy people to pay the European average tax rate we could reduce the need for much of the public spending cuts. “Opinions like this and those of VAT etc that effect the collective rather than a small select cohort of individuals are constantly shot down as the government seems to prefer to squeeze middle and lower income groups into a state of paralysis.
“Reminding us of the 90th anniversary of the signing of the treaty was bad PR spin. I’d say the leaders of 1921 were turning in their graves at that reference and it’s ironic that within a week of the anniversary this Taoiseach will more than likely give that independence away once and for all, as those in Europe look to their own people, our Government doesn’t seem to be focused on ours and when the proposals for integration come from Germany & France the Irish people need to demand a referendum to ensure that there is at least a democratic mandate for the programme.
“Telling the people of Ireland last night all the things we already know, lacked substance and what I describe as “Much Ado about Nothing”
“Telling the tax payer and the unemployed that challenges are ahead seemed pointless in the extreme. The people know this as they are living it and are facing into ‘challenges’ every day and instead of listening to the opposition and their ideas the Government seem to be more focused on the Bundesbank than the people of Ireland.
“Why perpetuate the pain of the people? It was the Opening Act of a Tragic Trilogy, with the sequels today and tomorrow.
“The Address was a pointless and condescending Prologue and Introduction to the Budget and it seemed that the Taoiseach wanted to have “State of the Nation Address” Box Ticked on his list of things to do. It was ‘Much Ado About Nothing’….yet today and tomorrow every person in this country will have a lot less to make do with.
“I thank you for your time.”