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Three in four of us not happy with the coalition, poll shows

ALMOST three-quarters of voters are dissatisfied with the Coalition, a new poll has revealed.

The Sunday Independent poll shows that 74pc of the 979 respondents are dissatisfied.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are tied at 27pc – a four-point increase for the main Government party from the last poll, while Fianna Fail enjoys a 1pc rise.

Sinn Fein and independents are tied at 17pc. Labour are at 11pc – a 1pc drop from the last poll.

Meanwhile, the Coalition has been hit by fresh tensions as ministers prepare to clash over where the budget knife should fall.

With Budget Day just over four months away, ministers are bracing themselves for further cuts.

Sources in both Fine Gael and Labour confirmed last night that differences have already emerged over the scale of social welfare cuts.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton is expected to find €440m worth of savings next year alone – but has privately vowed to "fight" for a significantly reduced figure.

A source close to Ms Burton last night admitted that finding this scale of savings would prove "extremely difficult".

"The minister has indicated she will fight, to ensure that the cuts to her budget are proportionate, achievable and fair."

The run-up to the last two budgets have seen major in-fighting between both Fine Gael and Labour.

In February, Ms Burton backed a call for a "softer" budget following Ireland's promissory note deal.

However Michael Noonan is adamant that the original €3.1bn savings target must still be achieved in 2014.

Labour senator for Roscommon, John Kelly, said that finding €440m worth of welfare savings would prove "impossible".

ANDREW LYNCH, P14


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