Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has today called on the Government to put its Budget to the electorate.
Speaking during leaders' questions in the Dáil ahead of the Budget announcement, Mr Kenny told the Taoiseach that people were being "penalised" for the mistakes of Fianna Fáil and challenged Brian Cowen to call an election.
Responding, Mr Cowen said people were aware of the challenges facing the country and that today's Budget was "another step in making necessary adjustments". People were ready to "make whatever sacrifices necessary" to restore the economy and the public finances, the Taoiseach said.
"That's the usual, you don't answer questions, Taoiseach," Mr Kenny told the House. Irish people "know well" who created the problems and are lying in wait for the Government, which will not give them opportunity to have their say, the Fine Gael leader said.
"The country is not working under Fianna Fáil . . . will you put budget to people in general election and give someone a mandate to lead this country out of the mess you and your people created?"
Mr Kenny accused Mr Cowen of pulling the "greatest con job of all" in May 2007 by putting out adverts in national papers claiming 97 per cent of taxpayers would be better off under FF.
The Taoiseach told Mr Kenny there would be sufficient support among people for the budget in what was a "clearly different" situation to May 2007.
"The important point is we will come through this recession as we did in the past . . . people will have to take some steps back to go forward. There will be a greater degree of sacrifice required, but it is far better to be open and honest about that."
from: Irish times: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0407/breaking43.htm