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Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore promises Government will stick to Croke Park deal

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore today insisted that the Government is going to stick to the Croke Park deal.

The deal to preserve pay and pensions has come under increasing focus as the Government prepares to implement €3.5bn in tax increases and spending cuts in the Budget.

But Mr Gilmore told RTE’s Morning Ireland that the Croke Park agreement was working – pointing to the extra workload being taken on by public servants after 27,000 of their colleagues had departed.

He said that the agreement – which has 18 months left to go - could be looked at mid term. But he said that if the deal was not kept, it might not be possible to negotiate another one.

Mr Gilmore also said that he had confidence in embattled Health Minister James Reilly, who was criticised last week for not consulting his cabinet colleagues in advance about €130m of health cuts.

And he defended the Labour Party’s decision to hold its two-day “think in” in the luxury four-star Carton House hotel. Mr Gilmore has said that the party chose the hotel because it got a good deal for hiring its conference facilities.