Friday 23 February 2018

Labour still insists it won't undo cutbacks -- for now

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

THE Labour Party last night again insisted it will not reverse the Government's Budget cuts if it gets into power early next year.

The opposition parties also met with the negotiating team from the International Monetary Fund to discuss their take on the economic recovery.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan yesterday expressed his confidence the Budget would be passed on December 7.

Unlike the coalition parties and Fine Gael, Labour does not agree a €6bn package of cuts and taxes is required next year -- arguing that only a €4.5bn is needed.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore yesterday appeared to waiver when he failed to rule out reversing some of the cuts if his party gets into office.

Previously, he has said Labour would not reverse cuts already introduced by the Government if came to power.


However, a spokesman said that Mr Gilmore's position was quite clear. The party would not undo the Budget cuts immediately, but was not ruling out reversing them over the course of the lifetime of the next government or making changes to the four-year plan.

The party believes a larger degree of economic growth is achievable if its policies are followed.

"We're not going to be reversing decisions. The process of reversing it is cumbersome and would take a long time," the spokesman said.

Labour would not be "giving the Government a blank cheque" on the Budget and would decide its view when it was published in a fortnight.

Fine Gael and Labour will be setting out their own pre-Budget positions next week, when they each publish their own proposals for taxation and spending cuts for 2011.

Irish Independent

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