FF slams 'colossal overspends' but rules out pre-Christmas poll
The Government would have nearly €1bn in extra spending power in the Budget were it not for "colossal overspends" with the National Children's Hospital (NCH) and National Broadband Plan (NBP), Fianna Fáil has claimed.
Public expenditure spokesman Barry Cowen told a private meeting at Fianna Fáil's Wexford think-in that Fine Gael's belief that it is a "great custodian of public funds had been blown into myth" because of the overspends.
Mr Cowen's presentation to his colleagues, seen by the Irish Independent, states: "Contrary to what Fine Gael would want us all to believe, services are being impacted by these overspends.
"We would have a Budget package of €900m if it weren't for the NCH and NBP."
Mr Cowen's warning came ahead of budget talks between his party and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe due to begin today.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin ruled out an election before Christmas, despite claiming the Government "is failing and has failed on a range of issues". He said the Government was not ready for a no-deal Brexit and had not told the truth about the need for customs checks.