Dara Calleary TDJames Connolly / PicSell8

Opposition parties have described Enda Kenny’s State of the Nation address as little more than a party political broadcast.

Fianna Fail, boosted by their improved showing in a Sunday Business Post opinion poll, led the wave of criticism.

The party’s justice spokesman Dara Calleary accused the Irish Prime Minister of saying nothing new or of any substance in his televised address.

“It was announced at a Fine Gael meeting and appears to have been designed to serve purely party political purposes,” claimed Calleary.

“It felt more like a party political broadcast than an address to the nation.

“The Budget details outlined by the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) had been well leaked by his Ministers and his claims concerning tough decisions taken so far all related to ones he had inherited or opposed.

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“He mentioned jobs repeatedly, but the hard fact is that his VAT increase and decision to cut capital spending this week will cost jobs and damage the economy.

“In relation to Europe, it is extremely damaging that he has accepted the fiscal control agenda of Germany when every piece of evidence is that reform of the ECB is the only thing which can save the euro and restore growth in Europe.’’

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was also critical of Kenny’s speech which he said was a ‘missed opportunity’.

Adams said: “Enda Kenny failed to provide citizens with hope for a route out of the economic crisis.
“This was a clear attempt to justify in advance what is expected to be a vicious, unfair budget by the Fine Gael-Labour Government.

“Enda Kenny’s tax plans will hit those on lowest incomes hardest. What is most striking about the Taoiseach’s remarks is that there is no clear plan to stimulate the economy. The speech was long on rhetoric and short on substance.”

Enda Kenny's address of the nation: