Minister Damien English TD has warned that the real contribution of Independents in the forthcoming election could be instability.
“A vote for an independent candidate could contribute to political instability at a time when our country needs certainty and continuity. As pointed out by the Taoiseach, Independents in government are like a three legged stool that wobbles every week.
“Various Independent groupings are jockeying for inclusion in government and at the Cabinet table. But they each come with their own shopping lists and ‘individual’ approach to doing business.
“Shane Ross’ Independent Alliance wants to accept ministerial posts but not attend cabinet meetings. This failure to take collective responsibility as members of government would not only be a recipe for chaos, but it is also unconstitutional.
“People know what they’re getting with Fine Gael. They don’t know what they’re getting with Independents. It’s time for them to start providing answers.
“As we approach the election, it’s not enough to shout from the rooftops, we need more than that. If they are asking people to vote for them, people deserve to know what they propose doing if elected. I challenge the Independents and newer political alignments to come up with credible, practical solutions to Ireland’s problems.
“In the run up to the last election Fine Gael proposed a clear policy platform — to help fix the public finances and get Ireland working again. We are indisputably delivering on that. Ahead of the election, we are asking people to stay with us so as to ensure Ireland’s recovery and continuing economic stability.
“Yesterday, we got another strong indicator of how Fine Gael’s approach in government has brought about stability and certainty when the international ratings agency Fitch announced that it was changing Ireland’s rating from A- to A, with a stable outlook. It also projected strong economic growth and steady improvements in our public finances. And, in a week in which our unemployment rate fell to 8.6 per cent, the agency also cited a strong projection for further employment growth.
“Fine Gael’s track record on the economy is that we have delivered stability, growth and certainty. We absolutely will keep the recovery going. Why risk our stability by giving your vote to an Independent?”