Belfast Telegraph

No national government: Fine Gael

Fine Gael's shadow Cabinet has shot down any prospect of a national government to lead the country out of the economic crisis.

After party leader Enda Kenny ruled out a "Tallaght II" strategy, his entire front bench said it would not support Fianna Fail retaining power.

In a statement, they said the current crisis was in a different context to the 1980s when the party propped up a minority government to get through the downturn.

"Under the original Tallaght Strategy that minority Fianna Fail government agreed to implement Fine Gael policies," they said.

"This Fianna Fail-led government, in contrast, has rejected and attacked Fine Gael policies."

The party's front-bench discussed the issue during a meeting on the upcoming budgetary debate.

Telecoms tycoon Denis O'Brien was among those who have publicly called for a united front from political parties to steer Ireland out of its financial mess.

But the Fine Gael front bench claimed the idea was being pushed by many of those who want to keep Fianna Fail in office.

They vowed to "play a constructive role" in the upcoming debate ahead of the Budget but insisted they will make their own decisions on what spending cuts and tax hikes were needed.

The party leadership said they accepted the deficit needed to be slashed to 3% by 2014 and that more savings were needed than already agreed.


From Belfast Telegraph