SIR – Five years ago we were charged with the responsibility of electing a government to face the most challenging and demanding job to save the country from total economic collapse, and redeem the country from the Troika, and the IMF. With over 300,000 jobs lost, 15.2% of workforce unemployed, a guarantee of €64 billion to save the banks and a government that ended up with seven ministers, all of us were in a precarious position.
However, we elected coalition of Fine Gael and Labour, under the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, to administer the affairs of the nation. It was a daunting task and required total commitment of energy, hours, intellect, diplomacy in Europe, and a focus between the two parties in government, that they had the trust of the people.
Five years, on it’s decision time again, and it is fair to say the country has come a long way, the fastest growing economy in OECD, if not the world. Unemployment down to 8.8%, over a thousand new jobs each week, reduction in USC and income tax, increase in pensions and child benefit and a budget deficit which now will be a thing of the past. All areas of productive sectors – tourism, agriculture, exports and small and indigenous businesses – are seeing now a sense of confidence.
It is, therefore, imperative that we who are charged with electing the next government, consider carefully that the hard won recovery is sustained and enforced further to give us all the opportunity to enjoy the gains of the recovery. We need a strong government free of independents, to give the markets confidence and prove once again that Ireland is the best place to do business, and create more jobs to ensure everybody who wants to work can get a job.
Let’s put Ireland first in the commemorative year of 1916 and never again allow ourselves to return to the chaos of 2008, which created hell for very many people who suffered greatly.