Kathleen Funchion - Phil Hogan must go
In taking to his feet for the first time in the Dáil as Taoiseach Enda Kenny declared the election result as a democratic revolution.
His maiden speech promised a new style of politics and a consigning to history the cronyism and greed of the past.
He promised a new era of accountability and transparency and the buck would stop with him and his Government.
Three years on and so much for the democratic revolution.
He and his Government have delivered three gruelling and unfair budgets which have deepened inequality, forced more people into poverty and left many families unable to pay basic bills.
In recent times we have seen scandal after scandal with top up payments, bonuses and lottery sum salaries for those at the top and cut after cut for those at the bottom.
The cronyism and greed that Enda Kenny promised to eradicate is alive and kicking and the people are quite rightly angry.
The Labour Party must also bear responsibility for the unfairness and unjust nature of Fine Gael’s austerity agenda.
It is clear that austerity is working for the few but not for the many.
Labour has betrayed the people who voted for them and their false promises and willingness to prop up Fine Gael is causing justifiable anger.
This is a Government which also promised radical political reform. Instead they sought to abolish the Seanad, cut numbers and gut local Government services.
Phil Hogan promised in his local Government Document to ‘Put People First’.
Instead he has stripped local authorities of powers over water provision and established an expensive quango in Irish Water.
The Bill to give effect to Irish Water was rushed through the Dáil with little or no debate.
The Irish people are now paying the price for Phil Hogan’s incompetence.
Rather than putting people first we see millions squandered on of consultants, jobs for the boys, bonus payments to senior executives and a water tax bill for the ordinary citizen.
So much for the new style of politics.
So much for accountability and transparency.
So much for the political revolution.
Minister Phil Hogan has presided over debacle after debacle.
He must go.
Sinn Féin will continue to campaign for real and radical political reform including local Government.