Wednesday 22 October 2014

Reshuffle: Labour take Environment, Fine Gael get Foreign Affairs

Published 11/07/2014 | 07:43

Minister Phil Hogan
Minister Phil Hogan

THE Labour Party has got the Environment Minister's job in a swap with Fine Gael for Foreign Affairs.

Environment Minister Phil Hogan is becoming European Commissioner leaving a vacancy.

The move puts Labour in charge of housing, which is a priority for Tanaiste Joan Burton.

Former Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's Foreign Affairs brief is being handed over for Fine Gael.

A Labour source said the party taking over the Department of the Environment is a reflection of party's stated priority to deliver major housing programme.

"The goal is to make housing the centre of the Department's focus for remainder of government term, the key goal being to make affordable homes accessible to families," the source said.

A policy document to be published by the Coalition will outline the Government's focus on social and affordable housing, setting targets to triple the numbers of houses being built to 25,000 a year by 2020.

It will also explore creative ways to source new financing for viable and required housing developments.

"The whole of Government approach to issue and housing a priority for both parties," a source said.

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