Bruton says there's no friction in Coalition despite water grant row
The Government has insisted that there will not be an early election - despite reported tensions between the Coalition partners.
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton denied yesterday that Fine Gael and Labour are fighting over the date of the next general election, saying that the Government is looking to see out the full length of its term.
The Coalition partners are also believed to be at loggerheads over linking the €100 water conservation grant to the payment of Irish Water bills.
But yesterday, Mr Bruton said that both parties are fully committed to the current programme for government.
"I think the two parties have been approaching a very difficult set of problems in the last five years and working steadily to deliver a programme for government," he said.
"I think that we are making fantastic progress," he added.
He said that the timing of the next election was a matter for the Taoiseach to address.
Reports over the weekend suggested that Fine Gael has lost faith in a Labour recovery by next year, putting an early election back on the agenda.
However, Mr Bruton said that he was focused on using the Coalition's remaining time in government to get the country back to work.
"The timing of the election is obviously a matter for the Taoiseach. He has made it clear that it will be his decision but that his instinct is to go the full distance," said Minister Bruton.
"That is his position and people may speculate but I think it is a Government that is very committed to a programme of government and there is a lot of that agenda to be delivered," he added.
"My determination is to look to the future. We have the capacity in this country to set a path of full employment by 2018.
"That would transform this country. Nearly 250,000 lives would be put back on track."
Mr Bruton was speaking as he officially opened a new €260m biotech facility in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.
The development of the new Amgen facility will help to secure the future of 360 jobs at the company and has created 500 construction jobs since 2011.
Amgen has also announced that it will invest a further €600,000 in science education programmes in Ireland over the next three years.
The programmes are designed to support the professional development of secondary school science pupils and teachers.
More than 53,000 students and 500 teachers will benefit from the scheme.
"We have been very keen to see the bridge between industry and education built on a more sound footing," said Mr Bruton.