Belfast Telegraph

Ministers told they may lose job

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned ministers their jobs are on the line after revealing the Government has failed on two major commitments for its first year in power.

Despite reneging on plans to publish individual report cards on the Cabinet, Mr Kenny made the threat as he conceded that efforts to renegotiate a debt burden deal and an end to upward-only rent reviews have been unsuccessful.

When asked if anyone would be sacked following the end-of-year report, Mr Kenny replied: "You'd be surprised."

The Taoiseach insisted that ministers have been made aware of their responsibilities and have been given action plans to ensure the Government's attempts to stabilise the economy get further under way.

"An example of something we haven't been able to deliver on and we're disappointed about is in respect of upward-only rent reviews," said Mr Kenny.

"We had considered this but constitutionally it proved to be impossible without having to make massive taxpayers' compensation for landlords, which we weren't prepared to do."

Upward-only rent reviews were banned by the last Government and the Fine Gael-Labour coalition had pledged to remove such clauses from existing commercial leases. This would mean that tenants paying more than the market dictates could appeal to their landlord and demand a mark-down.

However, the Taoiseach said any changes to the legislation would result in the Government being open to legal challenges or having to pay landlords compensation.

Mr Kenny also said that negotiations to seek a reduction in European debt with the troika of the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank were still under review.

The Government is due to make a 3.1 billion euro payment to the troika on March 31, as agreed under the European promissory notes.

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