Budget committee 'should be chaired by the opposition'
Published 02/06/2016 | 02:30
Opposition TDs have laid claim to the chairmanship of the powerful new Budget oversight committee that will scrutinise the minority Government's tax and spending plans.
Fine Gael's John Paul Phelan was selected to chair a temporary committee discussing how the Budget process will work. But Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath said the chair of the permanent committee must come from the opposition.
Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty agreed, but said it should be chaired by an opposition TD "who has not entered into an arrangement to facilitate budgetary matters with the Government" - a reference to Fianna Fáil.
"I wasn't looking for a job," Mr McGrath quipped.
The temporary committee has until the end of June to report back to the Dáil. But Fine Gael's Seán Barrett raised concerns about the time frame, saying "there's not a chance in hell of having structures in place for the 2016 Budget".