I feared for economical survival of State, says Gilmore
on 23/07/2012 00:00:00
Speaking in Glenties, Co Donegal, at the MacGill Summer School, he also said now was the time for the country to break out of the cycle of economic crises to safeguard the future for Ireland's children.
Mr Gilmore said in the early days of meetings of the Government's special economic unit of ministers that the crisis that Ireland faced was "existential". He added: "There were days when I feared for the financial survival of the State. Today, while the problems we face are still grave, we are in a much stronger position."
Mr Gilmore said plans by James Reilly, the health minister, for universal health insurance could be achieved. Despite the fact the health minister recently failed to inform Mr Gilmore of the resignation of the head of the HSE, the Tánaiste praised his plans to overhaul health insurance.
"It's ambitious. It will take time. But we can do it if we take it step by step, redirecting a small fraction of the €14 billion health budget to lower that bar, incentivising people to get treated earlier by their GP, and so freeing up more expensive hospital time," he said.
He said now was the time to break the economic crisis, for the next generation of young people.
"This must be the moment when we break out of the cycle of economic crises. For the sake of the children born this year, who will be approaching college graduation 20 years from now, and seeking employment," he said.
He stressed the need to seek further business connections with Asian countries and also, ahead of a planned trip to east Africa this week, pointed to the benefits of working with African nations.
He told the summer school one of the most important decisions which would be valued in decades to come was the decision to conserve water. The Government intends introducing water charges for houses over the next two years.
"It would not surprise me if the one which is most valued 20 years from now is the decision we recently made to establish a State water utility to manage our water resources. Water may be the great resource issue of the 21st century."