FF alarm at Government Incoherence on Croke Park 2

Fianna Fáil Jobs Spokesperson Dara Calleary TD has expressed his alarm at what he described as Government incoherence on the updated Croke Park deal.

His comments come after a day of contradiction and confusion on the part of senior Government ministers on whether different and better conditions would be available to the members of unions which remained within the Croke Park negotiations.

Deputy Calleary commented, “The Government’s message on Croke Park this weekend has been all over the shop. We have seen the farcical situation of senior Government Ministers openly contradicting one another on what’s the strategy and the accuracy of Government inspired newspaper stories.

“In a carefully leaked and well spun story in this morning’s Sunday Business Post, senior Government sources talked tough about their plans to essentially introduce a two tier union system. The plan, as reported, would have seen members of those unions which are sticking to the Government script being rewarded, while members of the Garda and nursing unions that have spoken out against Government would be punished.

“On RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, I sought to challenge Labour Party Minister Ruairi Quinn on what appears to be a deeply divisive and patently unfair tactic. But he couldn’t have been clearer – there was no truth whatsoever in the newspaper headline or story. In fact, he described it as ‘misleading’.

“Any Garda or nurse who was watching would have been relieved by the Minister’s assurance. However, their relief would have been short lived, as his colleague Leo Varadkar went on to flatly contradict Quinn less than an hour later on RTÉ’s This Week programme. According to the Fine Gael Minister, there will be a €130M sweetener for compliant unions and their members will be treated more favourably than Gardaí and nurses.

“To date the Minister responsible Brendan Howlin has been publicly silent on the issue. However if Leo Varadkar is correct it is difficult to believe that Ruairi Quinn, a Labour Party Minister, could have been so badly briefed by his own colleague before a major television appearance.

 

“The Taoiseach needs to intervene and clear up this mess. Will there be a sweetener for compliant unions or not? Will members of unions that have spoken out against the Government be punished or not? Is the story in the Sunday Business Post accurate or not?

 

“This weekend, Union members across the country are speaking to their families and deciding whether or not to support these proposals. The very least they should be able to expect is some accuracy and consistency from senior Government ministers supposed to be selling the proposals.”