herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Four years on and we have regrets ... but country is in better place, reveals Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and the Tanaiste & Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton T.D during a press briefing mark the Government's fourth year in office
Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and the Tanaiste & Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton T.D during a press briefing mark the Government's fourth year in office

REGRETS, we've had a few. Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Joan Burton admitted there are things they should have done differently as the Government marked its fourth year in office.

During a joint press conference at Government Buildings, the country's two most senior politicians reflected on their time in power.

Mr Kenny said he wishes more progress had been made in the area of mental health and suicide prevention.

"I don't suppose you can regret anything when you had the privilege of heading up a government in the most challenging of economic circumstances," he said.

pressures

"I think I'd like to have made more progress in the area of mental health and suicide prevention. We've made great progress, and Minister Lynch is doing a fabulous job.

"But I think we need to look at the kind of world we are in now from cyber-bullying to the internet and the pressures people are under, from obesity, from drink, from drugs, relationships, the pressures people are under in a number of ways."

Mr Kenny said this is an area he would like to see the Government make progress in over the next 12 months.

Also asked about regrets, Ms Burton said there are a number of problems in the health system that need to be addressed.

"We have a reform agenda there, we have some significant achievements but it continues to be a problem," she said.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach and Tanaiste spoke about a proposal to reduce the term of bankruptcy from three years to one.

Ms Burton spoke strongly in favour of reducing the bankruptcy terms, as proposed by a bill from Labour TD Willie Penrose.

"We will take further action to address the issue of mortgage arrears and personal debt. We have already introduced reforming legislation in this area and it is only right that we review that," Ms Burton said.

"Reducing the bankruptcy term from three years to one would be a useful step."

However, the Taoiseach at the same event was far more circumspect on the issue, amid strong Fine Gael reservations. "It is something we can consider," was as far as he went.

Mr Kenny and Ms Burton said the Government will announce next month new measures to help struggling families who are in mortgage arrears of more than a year.

hnews@herald.ie

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