The Labour Party does not like to be reminded of its similarities to the Greens. Both know what it's like to be left-of-centre junior partners in coalition, taking the brunt of unpopularity for measures taken by their austerity administrations. Labour does not want to go the way of the Greens, annihilated in the 2011 General Election.
John Gormley's party is remembered for a number of daft things, such as wasting time and energy on banning stag hunting in Co Meath while the country went down the pan.
However, one of the Green Party's better measures was one that was, like all good ideas, brilliant in its simplicity.
The 'Cycle to Work' scheme uses tax incentives to encourage people to take their bikes to get to work.
Employers can pay for bicycles and bicycle equipment for their employees and the employee pays back. But the worker is not liable for tax on their repayments.
Labour's push to introduce regulations to bring the price of school uniforms down is so obvious it is surprising nobody implemented it before. But that does not take the common sense of the proposal away and it will, if implemented, be welcomed by parents who may be paying hundreds of euro if they have more than one child in school. It is also politically smart from Labour, following the kicking it has received in the polls recently.
Next month's Budget is the last chance for the Coalition to show it still cares about middle Ireland before next year's local elections. Voters will undoubtedly be keen to remind Labour candidates that their party promised to protect child benefit from the Fine Gael wolves, and failed. Small moves to help struggling parents, like the uniform proposal, will not fix that broken promise. But they are a start, and a badly needed break the coping classes will welcome.