Monday 23 April 2018

Tanaiste refuses to commit to pact with Fine Gael ahead of election

Tánaiste Joan Burton
Tánaiste Joan Burton

Political Correspondent

TANAISTE Joan Burton has today refused to commit the Labour Party into a vote pact with Fine Gael ahead of the General Election.

The Labour leader said it is "too early" to agree such a pact, adding that both parties have a distinct set of policies.

Responding to a Sunday Independent report that some ministers favour an early election, Ms Burton said her party will be ready to go the polls early if required.

But she said she favours the Coalition serving out it's full five year term.

"We here in Ireland have had coalition government for a long period of time. And I think everyone  understands that the outcome of the next election in Ireland is likely to be a coalition,"she said.

"The big issue will be around stability and continuing the progress we've made or disparate groups who certainly have policies around a large number of things but whether they can reach agreement has yet to be seen," she added.

Ms Burton said she sent a message to former UK Labour leader Ed Miliband, expressing her party's sympathy following this week's election result.

But asked whether she has similar fears for her party, Ms Burton said the political landscape is distinctly different here compared to the UK.

Ms Burton was speaking at the annual Labour Party James Connolly Commemoration in Arbour Hill.

Addressing a crowd of around 200 people, SIPTU President Jack O'Connor said Labour's achievements in Government mirror of the values of the Syriza Party in Greece.

He said he is confident the work of the Low Pay Commission will result in a "significant increase in the minimum wage."

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