Monday 19 February 2018

Coalition will struggle to last rest of year, predicts Gilmore

Aine Kerr Political Correspondent

THE Government will struggle to survive beyond the December Budget, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore claimed last night.

The voting margins in the Dail are getting tighter, he added.

"I've no doubt they will want to continue through to Christmas ... you'd want to be very brave now to predict that they'll survive," he said.

At a time of uncertainty about the country's banking policies, the only thing that will bring a sense of political stability is a General Election, the Labour leader said. "The sooner that's done the better."

Prior to the Dail's summer recess, there were a number of very tight votes, including one on a financial motion.

The Dail resumes at the end of the month and begins the rundown to the December Budget, which must secure €3bn in cutbacks and savings.

In June, Fianna Fail backbencher Mattie McGrath became the latest party member to resign the Fianna Fail whip, weakening the Government's majority further.

But any deal with Fianna Fail after the next General Election was again ruled out by Mr Gilmore last night, amid recent reports Labour would consider coalition if Taoiseach Brian Cowen were removed as leader.

Mr Gilmore said there was "absolutely no basis" to the speculation.

Irish Independent

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