Sunday 18 March 2018

Five weeks later, Kenny finally set to call Martin

Noonan to enter Independent talks and concede high earner USC cuts

Micheal Martin and Enda Kenny
Micheal Martin and Enda Kenny

Niall O'Connor and Cormac McQuinn

Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny will finally contact Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin as early as tomorrow about the formation of a government.

Five weeks after the General Election, Mr Kenny has caved in to pressure from Fine Gael and Independent TDs who insist the stalemate between the two largest parties must end. Next week, the Dáil will vote for the second time on a Taoiseach, with Mr Kenny and Mr Martin scrambling to secure the support of Independents.

But whoever gets more votes will still need the other big party not to block a minority government. Mr Kenny confirmed to Independent TDs and his negotiating team that he intends to contact Mr Martin once a government policy paper is agreed.

Mr Martin's backbench TDs are also becoming increasingly edgy over the logjam.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan will come into the talks with Independents on Friday and is expected to concede ground on his planned USC cuts for high earners.

Fianna Fáil received a boost last night after it emerged several Independents are now considering voting for Mr Martin.

But the Green Party has pulled out of the talks on government formation.

Irish Independent

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