Monday 11 December 2017

Higgins: Labour heading towards 'Green wipeout"

Niall O'Connor, City West

LABOUR is heading towards the same fate as the Green Party, according to Socialist party leader Joe Higgins.

The Dublin West TD claimed that Eamon Gilmore's party have "stabbed people in the back" and are facing wipeout at the next general election.

"The overwhelming message is that the austerity agenda, and those pushing it - Fine Gael and Labour, have got an unmerciable hammering," he said.

More is expected of Labour as a party that was supposedly in the interest of working class people and instead it's stabbed them in the back," he added.

Mr Higgins was responding to a demand from Labour's Pat Rabbitte that the Programme for Government must now be renegotiated following the party's electoral drubbing.

Mr Rabbitte said that medical cards and housing should form the basis of a "renewal" of the deal between Fine Gael and Labour.

The Dublin South West TD said that "new policy objectives" must now be agreed in a claim that will raise eyebrows within Fine Gael.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny this week appeared to categorically rule out the prospect of a renegotiation of the Programme for Government.

But Mr Rabbitte said that there is now a clear need to revise the programme currently in place.

"That means renewing the programme for government, addressing the issues that are now current, whether they are about medical cards, or about housing, or whether they are about any of the other issues that are current," he said.

"That's the challenge - to set down those new policy objects for the remainder of the life time of this government and to deal with them with the same single minded purpose that we had in the initial three years in this government's existence," he added. 

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