'Worst political situation' local TD has seen in 25 years
A local TD has slammed the ongoing political uncertainty as “an absolute disgrace”.
Deputy Willie Penrose said it was the “worst” situation he had seen develop over his 25 years in the Dail.
“It's an absolute disgrace. It's nonsense,” a clearly frustrated Deputy Penrose told the Westmeath Independent this week.
He said the country was teetering on the political precipice over “who knew what and when in terms of an email” when this was an issue that would be examined by a Tribunal established by the Dail.
Pointing out that the Tribunal was already willing to fast track its investigation of the issues to January, Deputy Penrose said this was just four weeks away.
“How can these issues be addressed by an election which will happen in Christmas week?” he asked.
He also asked people to reflect on how former Minister Alan Shatter had been forced out of office in a previous political storm and in the aftermath had been found to be an innocent party.
The Labour Longford/Westmeath TD also highlighted what he said was the huge amount of work to be done in the country at the moment, with Brexit potentially leading to “catastrophic consequences” for the island of Ireland.
“The Brexit discussions if they go very wrong will make our recent economic recession look like a Teddy Bear's picnic,” he warned.
Penrose also predicted that for the agriculture industry alone, over 25,000 to 30,000 direct and indirect jobs could be impacted.
He rejected suggestions that his views were in contrast to those of his colleague, Deputy Alan Kelly, whose questions to the Department of Justice had sparked this current crisis.
Describing the questions as legitimate, Deputy Penrose said all the department and Government needed to do was to “give straight answers”.
And he warned that 1.5m recipients of social welfare payments would be impacted if the Social Welfare Bill, which provide the legislative framework for the implementation of the measures announced in Budget 2018, was to collapse on the dissolution of the Dail.
Legislation to rewind some of the provisions of the Financial Emergency Measure Provisions (FEMPI) Act, to facilitate a new public service pay deal, currently before the Houses of Oireachtas would also be delayed, he said.