The Taoiseach has said that Fine Gael has a vision for rural and urban Ireland that will not leave any community behind.

Leo Varadkar was speaking at the launch of Fine Gael’s council and European Parliament election campaigns in Moate, Co Westmeath.

He said that Fine Gael wants a fair local property tax with no increases unless the money is linked to improving facilities and services locally.

The party is putting forward seven candidates to contest the European elections and 405 for the council elections, where it wants to increase its seats from 230 to 280.

If this were to happen, it would be the first time ever that a serving Government party has increased its representation on councils.

The Taoiseach said the party wants to hold its four European Parliament seats and also challenge for gains.

He said that Fine Gael MEPs would work with colleagues in the European Parliament to secure an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU.