Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Nation 'not heading for Armageddon'

Barry Andrews said Ireland must realise it is not heading to Armageddon

Irish people should have the humility to remember they have been through tough times before, a Government minister has suggested.

Children's Minister Barry Andrews also said Ireland should realise it was not headed for Armageddon.

Ahead of next week's widely-feared 6 billion euro austerity Budget, Mr Andrews said people should have confidence in the ruling Fianna Fail/Green Party coalition.

"If we do go back to revenue and expenditure of around the 2005 or 2006 mark, let's not forget we weren't a poor country four or five years ago," he said.

"If this gives us the confidence to know that where we're going isn't Armageddon but is something that we lived with before, and if we have the humility to remember that we've come from situations like this before, I think it will give people confidence that this Government has an idea of the path to recovery for the country."

The Fianna Fail TD said the Government did not want the 85 billion euro bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Europe but was forced into it to pay teachers, gardai, nurses and childcare workers.

"Members of the public need to be reassured that what we had to do here is not something we wanted to do," he said.

"We were shut out of the bond markets."

Mr Andrews added: "Our colleagues in Europe were prepared to put a package together for us and we had to accept that package."

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