Friday 23 February 2018

Talks about reshuffle drag on over Labour demands

Tanaiste Joan Burton
Tanaiste Joan Burton
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is in no rush to sign off on a Coalition deal and reshuffle with Tanaiste Joan Burton.

A face-saving deal to allow both Coalition parties to have a say in job creation is being examined as part of the revamp of the Government.

The negotiations between the two parties are dragging on, but there is an expectation of the reshuffle being announced this evening.

The Government will also publish a document outlining its priorities for the remainder of its time in power.

Ms Burton's demands for positions and portfolios for Labour is believed to have caused delays in the reshuffle.

Mr Kenny has been unwilling to concede ground to Ms Burton on Labour taking the Jobs Minister and getting a sixth portfolio.

"We're in no rush. Possession is nine tenths of the law. All you have to do is sit there," a Fine Gael source said. "We're definitely not setting a deadline for getting agreement."

Labour sources said the reshuffle was "likely" to be today.

The leaders were prevented from meeting yesterday due to normal government business with Ms Burton being in the Seanad and Mr Kenny in the Dail for Leaders Questions.

The document setting out the Coalition's priorities will be signed off on by the Economic Management Council and approved by the new Cabinet.

Government sources said the Jobs portfolio was "the sticking point". "One is waiting for the other to blink. There isn't any real red-line issue," a Labour source said.

Labour appeared to be lowering expectations on getting hold of the Jobs brief.

"There seems to be an easing up of Labour eyeing up the jobs portfolio," a Fine Gael source said. "We never really had a huge expectation for it," a Labour source said.

A compromise being floated is splitting the Jobs, Enterprise and Trade briefs into two separate departments.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Also in this section