Bren­dan Grif­fin

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS -

..... in his words

“I fought tooth and nail to re­tain the nine per cent rate of VAT and de­spite my pro­longed, metic­u­lous and ro­bust ne­go­ti­at­ing on be­half of the tourism in­dus­try, the de­ci­sion was reached by govern­ment to re­vert to the stan­dard rate, which had been due to hap­pen in 2014 but was ex­tended each year since then due to in­ten­sive lob­by­ing by me as a TD and Min­is­ter.

“When it be­came ap­par­ent to me that I would not suc­ceed in ex­tend­ing the nine per cent rate for a fifth year be­yond the orig­i­nal plan, I im­me­di­ately set about en­sur­ing the best pos­si­ble al­ter­na­tive out­come for the tourism in­dus­try.

“The re­sult was an un­prece­dented 25 per cent in­crease of al­most €40 mil­lion in the tourism bud­get for 2019 which will heav­ily fo­cus on the growth of tourism in ru­ral ar­eas

“Michael Healy Rae’s crit­i­cism is ut­terly shame­less and a cheap po­lit­i­cal stunt. In re­al­ity, back on May 26 2011, when Fine Gael in Govern­ment in­tro­duced the tem­po­rary re­duced rate of nine per cent VAT, Michael Healy Rae didn’t even vote for it, de­spite it be­ing a huge lifeline to the tourism in­dus­try in Kerry when it was on its knees.

“He’s now be­ing a com­plete hyp­ocrite and didn’t even have the in­ter­est to show up in the Dáil for the Bud­get speech, the most im­por­tant day of the year for any TD. Where was he?

“Other In­de­pen­dent TD’s worked to be­come Cab­i­net Min­is­ters but Michael and his brother be­trayed the peo­ple of Kerry by tak­ing the easy way out, so that they could con­tinue to be pop­ulists, crit­i­cis­ing ev­ery govern­ment de­ci­sion that they might ac­tu­ally have in­flu­enced.

“Hav­ing the Healy-Rae broth­ers in the Dáil hasn’t brought any­thing pos­i­tive into Kerry. All talk, no ac­tion and no courage, they are a waste of two valu­able seats.”

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