Martin denies ‘row’ between coalition leaders on Budget promises

Martin Denies ‘Row’ Between Coalition Leaders On Budget Promises
Micheál Martin also said the Greens were “no different to any other political party” on expenditure promises.
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By Cillian Sherlock, PA

Micheál Martin has denied there was a “row” between the leaders of the coalition parties over pre-Budget spending promises.

It comes after Green Party leader Eamon Ryan accused Mr Martin during a private meeting of the coalition leaders of promising 2.2 billion euros in tax and social welfare measures at the Fianna Fáil ard fheis.


The coalition parties have been setting out priorities ahead of the local and European elections in June.

Green Party conference
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA.

On Sunday, Mr Ryan said he had warned both his coalition partners – Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil – about making promises ahead of the Budget.


Mr Ryan said it is “not clever” for Government parties to be making promises on tax cuts or increased expenditure.

He said he made the comments after watching the recent Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil ard fheis conferences.

Mr Ryan said: “I think we need to be careful – the Budget will be in October – and all sorts of hints that this, that, and the other will be in the Budget.

“I think firstly the electorate is slightly tired of that and doesn’t really believe it, and it doesn’t really sway them.”


Speaking on Newstalk, he added: “But also someone is going to be disappointed because we’re not going to be able to meet those promises.”



Asked about the comments on Sunday, Mr Martin said he believed Mr Ryan’s comments at the leaders’ meeting last week were “made in jest”.

He said: “There was no row at the party leaders’ meeting.”

Mr Martin also said the Greens were “no different to any other political party” on expenditure promises, adding: “Eamon is not for the faint-hearted when it comes to spending – right into the long term.”

The Tánaiste said every party had the right to “set out its stall” and that the Green Party had also identified its priorities at its conference on Saturday.


He said: “Much of what we said actually would have been within the budgetary framework of the previous year.

“So, obviously, the summer economic statement is next in June, that will give the broad brush framework around what’s possible in tax – in terms of the global sum – and then what’s possible in expenditure.

“But I wouldn’t read too much into it – the Government will work collectively.”

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