Leo Varadkar told he has "seen the light" after being "an enthusiastic Tory fiscal conservative for his entire life" 1 month ago

Leo Varadkar told he has "seen the light" after being "an enthusiastic Tory fiscal conservative for his entire life"

Murphy also asked the Taoiseach if he was "fearful" the Tánaiste would rent a bus with a Fine Gael sign, similar to his "political inspiration", Boris Johnson.

Leo Varadkar has "seen the light" after being "an enthusiastic Tory fiscal conservative for his entire life", Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy has said in the Dáil on Tuesday.

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Murphy described the Tánaiste's speech calling for Irish unity at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis last week as a "political transformation".

"I don't think there's any doubt that we witnessed a political transformation unlike almost anything we've seen for the last 20 years," she said.

“Having been an enthusiastic Tory fiscal conservative for his entire life, Mr Varadkar has seen the light. There was so many spending commitments announced on Saturday night that FG delegates must have been checking they were at the right event.

"I'll try to list some of the promises. But there were so many, I may inadvertently leave some out, a commitment to build 40,000 houses a year, an extra four billion a year for the health service, expanded medical card eligibility, occupational pensions, a living wage, more money for welfare payments.

"All paid for not with tax increases, but with some very vague sounding growth at a time when the economy recovers from the pandemic. We're coping with Brexit and our corporate taxes are set to reduce."

Murphy also asked the Taoiseach if he was "fearful" that the Tánaiste would rent a bus with a Fine Gael sign, similar to his "political inspiration", UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

"Taoiseach, I wonder if you're fearful the next time you're in Dublin-Bay-South you'll come across a Fine Gael bus with a big sign on the side saying there's an extra four billion a year for the HSE all emblazed on the side of it. The Tánaiste's other political inspiration Boris Johnson found that kind of stunt very useful," she added.

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"Now I must say, given that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I'm gratified that the Tánaiste has taken some of the Social Democrats policies, including improved public services, better pay and better conditions for workers, a social welfare safety net that people can live with in dignity, and, much-increased state investment in housing."

The TD also said that she doesn't believe Varadkar is a "credible person" to deliver on promises made during the speech last week.

"But, I'm not sure he's a credible person to deliver on this given that Fine Gael after 10 years in office, hasn't managed to meet the rebuilding Ireland target of 25,000 houses a year, nevermind 40,000," she continued.

"Meanwhile, one million people are currently on hospital waiting lists and it has taken Fine Gael 10 years to realise the problems with gifting a 800 million National Maternity Hospital to a private company with a religious ethos."