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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Independents reaction: Vote gives plan majority

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen and Finance Minister Brian Lenihan were thrown some last-minute breathing space when an independent TD unexpectedly voted for their Budget.

Wicklow TD Joe Behan, who resigned from Fianna Fail in 2008 over the first austerity Budget, yesterday said he voted "in the national interest".

Mr Behan's surprise move meant the Government had a four-vote majority.

Others, such as Mattie McGrath, also supported the Government.

"I based my decision on the four-year plan -- I felt it was a reasonable effort to stabilise the public finances," Mr Behan said.

"We have to do something about it, we cannot just ignore it," Mr Behan said.

The extra support came after Tipperary North's Michael Lowry and Kerry South's Jackie Healy-Rae pledged their support earlier this week.

Tipperary South TD Mattie McGrath, who lost the Fianna Fail party whip after voting against the Government on the stag hunting ban, also voted for the Budget.

Irish Independent

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