Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar TD at the 2017 Fine Gael Autumn Think- In in Clonmel , County Tipperary this morning
At the Fine Gael think-in, Clonmel, County Tipperary
“This ambition to build the Republic of Opportunity is in many ways the modern iteration of the Just Society. It combines the best ideas from the right with the best ideas from the left. It is the politics of the new centre.
It is also the politics of progress and change. So, when we say the centre must hold, we do not mean that things should stay the same.
We mean that we will lead change not from the extremes but from the centre. Giving people, families and businesses the certainty with which they can plan for the future.
….Where we have scope in the budget, it will be used to reward work and enterprise, and will benefit those on middle incomes who pay the highest rates of tax on far too modest incomes.
We will back business, farmers and enterprise.
High taxes on the middle classes are a barrier to opportunity and to work. They are a cap on aspiration and there should be no cap on aspiration in the Republic we wish to build…”
“…You can tell a lot about a society by how it treats its most vulnerable. We have provided medical cards to all children with severe disability irrespective of their parents’ income, because we know they will need more regular access to health care, and parents shouldn’t have to worry about the costs.
And every working day, we provide housing for 80 individuals and families. There are 20,000 new tenancies a year because we believe everyone should have a home.
So when people mention style, I think of all that substance.
The Republic of Opportunity is not a slogan or empty PR. It is a way of thinking about how to improve people’s lives and we’re only getting started…”
“…Some political parties – especially those on the left – believe in a culture of dependency and victimhood. They like it when people are down and dependent. They want the system to fail so they can build influence and support.
Fine Gael will never talk down to people. We will always try to offer people a way up and way forward.
Committing to build a Republic of Opportunity means that we are proud of our ambition to create a culture of aspiration. Where people are encouraged to be the best they can possibly be. Encouraged to reach their potential and to make a better life for themselves and their children.
That is why I joined Fine Gael, and I’m sure why you did too.
For me, Fine Gael is not and has never been a party of privilege.
We are the party of aspiration.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
Full text here