FIANNA Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said Sinn Féin’s €22 billion spending plan would “destroy jobs” and again ruled out going into coalition with them in the next government.
Mr Martin said their plan, if implemented, would threaten the Irish economy.
“I belong to that school of Fianna Fáil, the party that gave people homes, the party that gave people a free education, the party that opened up this country to the world,” he said. “Now we have to do it again, in terms of small to medium-sized enterprises, the bread and butter of this economy.
“People who set up companies who employ 15 people, 20 people, 50 people. That’s who I want to represent.
“You can not raise taxes by four billion euro without it having an impact on ordinary people.”
Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald responded saying that Fianna Fáil were “the con-artists” and said her party makes no apology for seeking to give workers and families a break.
“We won’t take lectures from the party that wrecked the economy or the one that made ordinary people pay,” she said.
“What’s dangerous is people lying on hospital trolleys. What’s dangerous is an entire generation not being able to afford their own home, children being raised in bed and breakfasts. What’s dangerous is family after family struggling just to get by, and what’s really dangerous is the prospect of Fianna Fáil again bringing their agenda to Government.
“Our manifesto is ambitious - of that, there is no doubt - but without that kind of ambition we are not going to get to grips with the really big issues that people are raising with us daily on the doorsteps.”
Mr Martin also reiterated “would stick to his word” on the issue of going into government with Sinn Féin, something he has ruled out a number of times.