Taoiseach ‘disappointed’ by decision
THE Taoiseach Brian Cowen has expressed his disappointed at the resignation of Wicklow TD Deputy Joe Behan.
‘I am disappointed,’ said the Taoiseach, ‘Joe came to such a very big decision without consulting with me or giving me the opportunity to do so. On a personal level I felt disappointed.’
When asked if there was anyway for Deputy Behan to return to Fianna Fáil the Taoiseach failed to give a straight answer saying that Deputy Behan had not given any indication of wanting to.
Following the resignation of Deputy Behan and an unprecedented level of outrage within Fianna Fáil, the Taoiseach has confirmed a major climbdown on the issue of automatic entitlement to a medical card for the over 70s.
He announced yesterday that the plan will not go ahead as stated in last Tuesday’s Budget.
At this point the Taoiseach has said that there will be a means test and the automatic right to a medical card for all over 70s is gone, but the income thresholds won’t be the same as was set out last week.
Since his resignation the first-time back bencher, Deputy Behan, has reiterated his admiration and respect for the Taoiseach.
‘I have great admiration for his ability, his integrity and his patriotism. But I feel that he has got it wrong on this occasion.’
An Taoiseach Brian Cowen with Minister Noel Dempsey.