Belfast Telegraph

Party chiefs finalise Cabinet jobs

The leaders of the two main parties are set to finalise Cabinet positions in the new coalition Government.

Fine Gael's Enda Kenny is to discuss the appointments with Labour's Eamon Gilmore after a deal was struck on a programme for government at the weekend.

The two men are to sign off on the key posts ahead of the Cabinet announcement on Wednesday when the 31st Dail sits.

Mr Kenny will also be elected Taoiseach on the day and Mr Gilmore named Tanaiste.

Joan Burton, Labour's finance spokeswoman but widely tipped to lead public sector reform in a new-style Department of Finance, said no positions had been finalised in talks which concluded in the early hours of Sunday.

"The negotiators were not involved in discussing who would be involved in what job in the Government - that's a matter which is entirely being left to the Taoiseach-elect Enda Kenny and the Tanaiste-elect Eamon Gilmore," she said.

Under the partnership deal, a new super-ministry will be set up within the Cabinet to take sole charge of the country's economic direction.

The Department of Finance will be split in two, with the new finance minister looking after budgets and taxes while an estimates and public service reform minister will take control of spending and the overhaul of the public sector.

Both these ministers along with two others, one from each party, will form an economic council - effectively a super-ministry - within the Cabinet which will have supreme power over steering the country out of an historic crisis.

Fine Gael's Michael Noonan, a former party leader, is widely tipped to be the new finance minister.

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