McGahon welcomes extension of Confidence & Supply Agreement
Local councillor John McGahon has welcomed the extension of the Government’s tenure.
Earlier this week Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin announced that his party were extending the current Confidence & Supply Agreement due to the impending threat of Brexit on the Irish economy.
This means we won’t see a General Election next year and while that means that Cllr McGahon will have to wait to run for the Dáil for the first time, he welcomed the extension.
He said: “Brexit is on the horizon and approaching every day. This is not a time for political instability and chaos in Ireland asclearly demonstrated in London over the last week.
“There is no greater contrast in Brexit preparations than the current set of unique circumstances with a united and determined approach from the Irish Government which has never once wavered from our key commitments as compared to the division in Westminster,” Cllr. McGahon said.
“The commitment to continue the confidence and supply arrangement further strengthens Ireland’s hand in negotiating a successful outcome to Brexit, and securing all we have achieved to date.
“Our programme focuses on Brexit, job creation, investment in infrastructure including health and housing, and meeting the needs of hard-working Irish families. We are determined to ensure the social and economic progress made since 2016 can continue.
“Most commentators said the 32nd Dáil would not last very long and said little would be achieved. I think we can all see how this Government continues to defy its critics.
“Three Budgets have been passed and the public finances are well under control allowing us plan for future tax reforms.Project Ireland 2040, our long-term plan for Ireland’s future development, is underway with funds beings dispersed and includes a €116 billion National Development Plan.
“We achieved the highest level of employment ever in Ireland – unemployment currently stands at 5.3% – the lowest level since early 2008. Over three out of five jobs have been created outside Dublin since the Government was formed in 2016. This is 91,000 jobs.
“We can and will achieve more. Healthcare reform through the cross party Sláintecare plan will be delivered. We are investing in infrastructure including housing, roads and public transport and we will expand and develop further the affordable childcare scheme and introduce paid parental leave in the first year of a child’s life,” Cllr. McGahon said.
“There has been and continues to be huge amount of work in preparation for all contingency plans for Brexit. Some here in Louth may think Brexit will not have a major impact on their lives. It will impact us all, no matter what shape it arrives in and we have to be prepared.
“Some contingency measures have to be kept confidential at this stage in the national interest. But, as we have said before, we are not planning for the return of any hard border on this island.
“Many other decisions are now becoming visual. Domestic decisions like the hiring of customs officers, veterinarians and food-safety inspectors for our ports and airports will be accelerated. A large panel of 3,000 people have already applied for the customs positions alone, which is many times the eventual number we will need.
“There will be a special cabinet meeting on no deal in the coming weeks and more plans will be emerging from the government in the weeks ahead,” Cllr. McGahon said.