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Labour puts forward 34-hour Finance Bill timetable

The Labour Party has put forward a 34-hour timetable to get the Finance Bill into law by Friday night.

Joan Burton, the party's finance spokeswoman, said normal business should be cleared to pave the way for the Dail to be dissolved on Saturday.

"The Labour Party has never accepted the Fianna Fail claim that it would not be possible to have the Finance Bill dealt with by the Dail in one week," she said.

"The delaying tactic is nothing to do with devoting more time for the Finance Bill and all about giving more time for Fianna Fail and its leadership election process."

Ms Burton highlighted the complex Credit Institutions Stabilisation Act which was guillotined in the Dail in December with just one day's debate. The laws give the Finance Minister powers to restructure the banking sector on the back of the IMF/EU loan.

Labour have offered to give up three hours of its private members time in the Dail and pull its motion of no confidence in the minority Government if they can get a deal on the timetable.

The plan would see the Finance Bill debated for 26 hours, including a 12-hour Committee sitting on Wednesday, before going to the Seanad for approval on Friday.

It is to be put to Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and again when the Dail sits tomorrow at 2.30pm.

"The Labour Party motion of no-confidence remains on the Order Paper and will be taken on Tuesday evening with a vote at 8.30pm on Wednesday, unless we get agreement from Fianna Fail on this timetable," Ms Burton said.

"I want to emphasise that the Labour Party remains strongly opposed to major provisions of the Finance Bill.

"All we are proposing is an agreed timetable for debate in the Dail. We will table amendments in the normal way and call votes as appropriate.

"This shambles of a government has to be brought to an end.

"Our proposed timetable allows for the orderly closure of the 30th Dail and the election of a new government that can give the country the new start it so desperately needs."

PA Media