Saturday 1 October 2016

FG 'wants to continue with split finance ministry'

Published 05/01/2016 | 02:30

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin TD and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin TD and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD

Fine Gael will be happy to continue with a Department of Finance that is split in two after the General Election, the Irish Independent understands.

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Responsibility for the public finances was split after the 2011 election to give both Fine Gael and the Labour Party a role as the country grappled with the economic downturn.

This meant that while Finance Minister Michael Noonan was still in charge of setting key tax rates, the main decisions on spending went to Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin.

Sources within Fine Gael now say that regardless of the election result, the party is in favour of retaining the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

"Having one person look after the money coming in and one person looking after the money going out has worked well," said a Fine Gael strategist.

"The question now is will the Department Finance ever go back to having just one minister? In reality, it probably won't any time soon, at least."

Irish Independent

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