Burton defies diktat with comment on tax policy
SOCIAL Welfare Minister Joan Burton went well outside her area of responsibility yesterday by commenting on tax policy, despite a ban on ministers talking about the Budget.
Fine Gael sources said Ms Burton being allowed to stray into other areas displayed double standards on the part of Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.
Mr Gilmore defended a speech made by the Labour Party deputy leader which favoured increasing PRSI contributions by employers and workers. Ms Burton said the benefits that are paid far exceed the contributions, and something has to give.
But Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Gilmore issued a diktat to ministers not to talk about sensitive budget topics in public.
Mr Gilmore said Ms Burton's comments on PRSI were not inappropriate, as she is responsible for that area.
However, Ms Burton's speech also addressed tax policy, which is not her area of responsibility.
She spoke about closing off tax loopholes in order to make high earners pay more tax.
Fine Gael sources said the contents of Ms Burton's speech was not the problem, but the "double standards" operated by Mr Gilmore.