Friday 20 January 2017

FF: trouble ahead if FG attacks continue

Published 29/09/2016 | 02:30

Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen. Collins
Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen. Collins

Fianna Fáil has warned that criticism by senior Fine Gael figures of the party's approach to next month's Budget could have a "catastrophic" impact on relations.

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Tensions have ramped up between the two parties after a senior Government source described Fianna Fáil's Budget proposals as "pie in the sky".

The highly placed source also lashed out at Fianna Fáil's position on water charges and said Micheál Martin's party was trying to "own and disown" the Budget.

The Government figure added that Fianna Fáil's "feet need to be held to the fire".

The scale of the criticism took even ministers by surprise, given that it was levelled at Fianna Fáil just days out from Budget Day.

Fianna Fáil's housing spokesperson Barry Cowen said his party would not take "lectures" from the Government.

"This is rich beyond rich to question our economic credibility," he said.

"Particularly on water when their construct is built on sand, as shown by the failed Eurostat test.

"On the Budget, our demands are contained in the confidence and supply agreement.

"We don't expect all to be delivered in one budget and our efforts are to ensure the correct path is taken."

A senior Fianna Fáil source went further, saying the use of such language was "careless", "reckless" and could have a "catastrophic" impact on relations.

Further meetings between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in relation to the forthcoming Budget will take place in the coming days.

Irish Independent

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