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Deal is 'simply offering more of the same failed policies'

OPPOSITION parties last night pledged to put the new Government under major pressure over the deal that simply offers "more of the same".

The United Left Alliance (ULA), which now boasts five TDs, claimed Fine Gael and Labour were simply offering workers more of the failed policies of Fianna Fail.

But Fianna Fail, now on the opposition benches with just 20 TDs, last night claimed the new coalition partners had already distanced themselves from their "electoral populism" and "false promises".

Fianna Fail backbencher Niall Collins claimed the new Government had "fudged" on the commitment to cut €9bn between now and 2014 and was preparing to implement a range of "hidden taxes" in the areas of property and water.

"And claims they can take out up to 25,000 from the public sector by way of voluntary redundancies without affecting frontline services is nonsense," he said.

"They are just fooling themselves."


Striking a different tone, the ULA said the new Government was simply offering "more of the same". The alliance of left-wing activists said the new Government would simply implement large amounts of Fianna Fail's agreement with the IMF and EU.

TDs Richard Boyd Barrett, Joe Higgins and Seamus Healy claimed Labour had signed up for "wholesale attacks" on working people.

Sinn Fein Dail leader Gerry Adams said the Fine Gael-Labour programme indicates they will broadly implement Fianna Fail's four-year plan.

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"Undoubtedly many of those who voted for Labour, in particular, on the promise of change will be bitterly disappointed today," Mr Adams claimed.

The new Programme for Government is "bad news" for low- and middle-income families, the low paid, those on welfare and public sector workers.

"The continuation of an austerity approach means further depressing the economy and gives very little hope that jobs will be created," Mr Adams said.

"We will scrutinise every move made by this coalition and make sure it is held to account -- we will stand up for ordinary people."

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