We listened carefully yesterday to the Tánaiste's comments on the economy. He said that a new perspective and a lot of honesty were required and that we should rid ourselves of the politics of denial and anger - things the Tánaiste championed on this side of the House, no doubt. Anyway, he continued to outline to the Dáil and to the people that the issues of mortgages and unemployment are being tackled through actions the Government is taking. Despite these actions, unemployment is rising and we heard from the Central Bank last week that the mortgage issue is not being dealt with. If the Tánaiste truly believes these things are being tackled, his speech allowed some major inferences about the politics of denial, and he is far more out of touch than we give him credit for.
We all welcome the fact that the Tánaiste seems to have converted to the politics of honesty rather than the politics of denial and anger. I imagine many of the Tánaiste's colleagues, including Deputies Shortall, Penrose, Broughan and Nulty and even Deputy Naughten, welcome it too. The Tánaiste should know - although he does not give that impression - that people are under ferocious pressure. ESB prices are up, petrol prices are up, gas prices are up and health insurance costs are up. Even those who have jobs are finding it remarkably difficult to make ends meet.