Saturday 10 December 2016

Another general election would cost the State a massive €40m - Department of Finance

Published 01/04/2016 | 13:54

From left: Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton before their final TV debate, on RTÉ’s ‘Prime Time’. Photo:Tony Maxwell/PA Wire
From left: Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton before their final TV debate, on RTÉ’s ‘Prime Time’. Photo:Tony Maxwell/PA Wire

Department of Finance officials have told Independent TDs locked in government talks with Fine Gael that another general election will cost the State a massive €40m.

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The revelation is understood to have shocked TDs as they met for the final time to discuss potentially supporting Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny as the next Taoiseach.

If government talks fail, it would mean the taxpayer could be lumped with a €80m bill for the two elections.

One source at the meeting described the potential spending on elections as “ridiculous”.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan was drafted into the crunch talks to outline the amount of spending available to the next government.

Mr Noonan is understood to have painted a pessimistic outlook of the country’s finances and told TDs there will be no “money to play with” over the next two years.

“There is no money in this country. We won’t have any money to play with until 2018 by his prediction,” a source at the talks said.

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