Broughan claims more TDs ready to jump ship
The latest Government TD to jump ship last night predicted more of his colleagues will follow.
Ahead of next week's Budget, Labour Party TD Tommy Broughan became the third coalition deputy to go overboard when he voted against the Government on the extension of the bank guarantee.
His departure from the Coalition comes after the departures of Fine Gael's Denis Naughten and Labour's Willie Penrose.
Mr Broughan said he could not vote for the extension of the bank guarantee, which Labour opposed in opposition.
He said he hopes all Labour party TDs will join him to become "a strong opposition".
Mr Broughan automatically lost the party whip after initially voting against the Government on the scheduling of the vote. He followed up by voting outright against the six-month extension of the guarantee.
The Labour TD lost the party whip twice before and has continued to be a critic of the Government since his party went into power.
And the veteran TD was being tipped to vote against measures in the Budget next week.
The Coalition's majority still remains at a healthy 110 with 74 Fine Gael TDs and 36 Labour.
The extension of the bank guarantee was marked by rowdy scenes during the Dail debate.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan gave short shrift to Sinn Fein. He reminded the party's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty that Sinn Fein had originally voted for the bank guarantee back in September 2008.
"Sinn Fein is trying to rewrite history and pretend that it had a consistent line throughout the debates on bank guarantees," he said.
He compared Sinn Fein to Bart Simpson saying like the cartoon character, the party claimed: "We didn't do it. No one told us. We weren't there."
Fianna Fail also voted in favour of the extension of the guarantee.
The party's finance spokesman Michael McGrath said the country did not have a choice because the consequences of ending the guarantee would be so serious.
The European Central Bank approved the extension of the bank guarantee in recent weeks.
New ECB President Mario Draghi's first decision in relation to Irish banks was to signal he wanted to extend the bank deposit guarantee scheme for at least another year.
The scheme for deposits over €100,000, known as the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee, was regarded essential for financial stability.
The ELG scheme is different from the blanket deposit scheme introduced in 2008 covering all retail deposits.
This scheme only guarantees the balance of deposits over the €100,000 limit of the ordinary scheme. Deposits taken out over certain terms are guaranteed up to five years. The scheme also applies to certain corporate deposits and debt liabilities.