Belfast Telegraph

More tough decisions ahead: Gilmore

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has warned of further tough Government decisions this year but stressed the party's values will not be jettisoned.

In a rally-the-troops style meeting before the Dail's autumn term begins, Mr Gilmore told TDs and senators there are no quick fixes.

The Tanaiste said the coalition will be honest with the public about the unprecedented crisis and vowed not to shy from difficult trade-offs or bow to vested interests.

"No Government wants to have to cut spending and increase revenue. But it has to be done, for the sake of our country, and for the next generation," he said.

"In making those hard decisions, this Government will level with people. We will say, yes, it is going to be difficult, but we are going to get on with it."

The Tanaiste also dismissed as "tittle-tattle" criticisms of his performance around the Cabinet table.

Citing the Government's actions so far, including the jobs initiative and securing a cut in the bailout interest rate, Mr Gilmore said the coalition must be both innovative and determined.

Addressing the 52-strong parliamentary party, the largest in Labour's history, Mr Gilmore said the party would drive reform in Government.

"These are positive signs, but they are only the beginning," Mr Gilmore said. "We have a long road yet to travel, but we have taken the first steps in the right direction."

The two-day gathering at the Mount Wolseley Hotel in Co Carlow also includes speeches by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, who is expected shortly to complete his comprehensive spending review of Government departments, Ms Burton and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.


From Belfast Telegraph