Senator Joe O’Reilly says that the problems of the economy cannot be solved “without the people of Ireland buying into the government and getting behind them”. This is not happening.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and the leaders of the other three biggest parties met in the Dáil on Wednesday to establish what common ground exists in response to the crisis in the public finances.

Leinster House ExteriorSenator O’Reilly welcomes this move, but he is reluctant to expect too much from this government who up until this point have failed to be honest with the people of Ireland.

Senator O’Reilly believes that the only way that we can have confidence in this government is if a number of steps are taken:

• We must be told the truth. To date this has not been the case. We are finally getting a view of what is going on in government, but this is after years of flippant spending and no insight into where money is going and why.
• We need cuts at the top; this includes politicians. TDs and Senators should also feel the brunt of this crisis. All cuts should be clear and tangible.
• We need an audit of waste in all public and semi state bodies. Front line services should not be affected; waste and overlapping roles can be found at all levels and this should be dealt with.

Senator O’Reilly recognises that the government have opened up their books to the opposition, however it must be said that only on Monday the Taoiseach gave an unrealistic sum of €7 billion, in adjustments that need to be made. This figure has now been estimated at closer to €15 billion. It has also been revealed that we will have to pay €6 billion in interest by 2014. This simply is not good enough. We need real reform and we need it immediately.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website