Monday 29 May 2017

Labour is out of Government - but it is never truly out of power

Labour TDs and members, including leader Brendan Howlin (front row, centre), on their way to Leinster House to announce the party’s spokespeople for the new Dáil in 2016. Photo: Tom Burke
Labour TDs and members, including leader Brendan Howlin (front row, centre), on their way to Leinster House to announce the party’s spokespeople for the new Dáil in 2016. Photo: Tom Burke
David Quinn

David Quinn

In terms of its policy agenda, what is the difference between this Government and the last one? It ought to be a pertinent question because the last government had Labour in it and this one does not.

There are two ways to look at the matter. You could take the view that the reason there is little or no difference is because Labour in government failed to impose its agenda. Or you could take the view that the differences between Labour and Fine Gael are now so small as to be barely noticeable.

The economic policy differences between the two parties amount to Labour wanting a bit more public spending than Fine Gael, and Fine Gael wanting a little less tax. Aside from that, it is hard to see a real difference.

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