A SENIOR Labour politician has moved to completely distance the party from a future coalition with Sinn Fein, which he described as being "deeply conservative" and steeped in populism.
Business and Employment Minister Ged Nash said he believes Sinn Fein's hypocrisy on issues such as water charges and the property tax will be identified by the public as attention now switches to the next general election.
It emerged yesterday that Sinn Fein's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald availed of €10,000-plus business class flights in order to travel to Australia for a business trip. The Sunday Independent revealed that the Dublin Central TD travelled to Australia for a fundraising tour and travelled business class. "Our mission is the Republic and we want all of it - we won't settle for anything less," Ms McDonald told Sinn Fein members in Perth
The use of business class travel is in stark contrast to the party's policy of TDs only accepting the average industrial wage from their Dail salaries.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Nash - a Labour TD for Louth - said Sinn Fein is guilty of double standards.
"I think they are deeply populist, they are a populist nationalist party. I think when you scratch beneath the surface, I don't think there is an awful lot to convince me, or more importantly the electorate, that they are genuinely, unanimously a party of the left," he said.
The Louth TD, who shares a constituency with Mr Adams, highlighted Sinn Fein's opposition to property tax in the South while at the same time implementing such a measure in the North.
"This idea that you are paying STG£1,000 (€1,260) a year for a three-bed semi in Newry while a few miles down the road in Dundalk, they are opposed to a relatively modest property tax to support local services, that just does not wash," he said.