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Enda Kenny warns of jobs exit if Fine Gael lose office

Published 16/02/2016

Taoiseach Enda Kenny addresses staff on a visit to Paypal in Dundalk
Taoiseach Enda Kenny addresses staff on a visit to Paypal in Dundalk

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned that money, investment and jobs will flood out of Ireland if Fine Gael are not returned to power.

Claiming that Sinn Fein will increase income tax if put in power, Mr Kenny said there would be consequences if an alternative coalition forms a government.

Mr Kenny also raised the prospect that Fianna Fail could enter government with Gerry Adams.

"There are alternatives but there are consequences to the alternatives," the Taoiseach said.

"I don't want to see the flight from this country of either capital or jobs or lack of investment coming in."

The Taoiseach claimed economic instability had been worsened with the election of left-wing governments in some European nations and hung parliaments in others.

"What you see are difficulties in other countries, Greece is back in recession, Spain has not been able to form a Government and there are difficulties in Portugal because of rising interest rates," he said.

The Taoiseach claimed it was a choice of moving forwards or backwards.

He gave his warning as he visited PayPal in Dundalk in Co Louth and promised to attempt to return the country to full employment of around 6% out of work.

The technology company is one of the border county's largest employers.

Sinn Fein leader Mr Adams accused the Taoiseach of scaremongering and said the outgoing government had caused chaos in the lives of ordinary working people.

"Enda Kenny's scare tactics are a product of the advice given to Fine Gael by the British Tory party's election strategists recently," he said.

The Taoiseach claimed a Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein coalition was being talked about in some political backrooms.

"Half the Fianna Fail party want to join with Sinn Fein," he said.

"If people want to pay 50% tax on an income of 43,800 (euro) then they can offer that if they wish and if they want a 60% tax rate on higher incomes they can offer that if they wish. "

Meanwhile, Labour outlined its priorities in the education sector but Tanaiste Joan Burton was forced to defend her latest performance in a leaders' debate.

The party claimed it would bring in the smallest primary class sizes ever seen, complete m ore than 300 major school building projects by 2021, add 100 multi-denominational schools at the same time, end school transport costs and cut student registration fees by 500 euro.

Elsewhere Fianna Fail launched its policy on disability issues and vowed to appoint a minister with full authority for the sector.

Party leader Micheal Martin said: "After five years of Fine Gael and Labour in Government, Ireland is a more unequal, divided, and fractured country. This is not simply because of the economic recession, but rather as a result of the decisions that this Government has taken. Promises were made and swiftly broken."

The party also pledged to give people on disability or carers allowance and the blind and invalidity pension an extra 20 euro.

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