Seán Sherlock TD
12 October 2016

“Since last Friday I have been raising concerns about the magical appearance of an extra €200 million for the overall Budget package.

It is astounding to suddenly hear the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin enquiring today as to where the extra fiscal space came from. For the last few weeks they have led us all to believe they negotiated the Budget with Fine Gael.

We have pointed out several times that the Government deliberately misled Opposition parties until the last minute as to the amount of extra money available in Budget 2017.

A day on from the Budget we still haven’t received clarity as to how the extra €200 million came to be. That is not acceptable.

Today we had the unprecedented situation at Leader’s Questions and in media interviews where the Government does not know when it will introduce the increase to weekly social welfare payments – a key plank of the deal hashed out with Fianna Fáil.

Fianna Fáil continue to wrongly claim that they influenced a 2:1 split when both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil proposed such a split in the General Election.

In last year’s Budget, Labour ensured a 3:1 split between increases in expenditure to tax reductions through supplementary estimates and Budget day measures. Fianna Fáil should also stop deliberately misleading people on this fact.”

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