FF to demand renegotiation if new FG leader attempts to introduce new policies

Fianna Fáil will demand a renegotiation of the Confidence and Supply Agreement if the new Fine Gael leader attempts to introduce new policies into the Programme for Government, writes Political reporter Elaine Loughlin.

It comes after both Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar published policy documents outlining the changes they would make if elected leader.

Speaking outside Leinster House this morning, Fianna Fáil's public expenditure spokesman Dara Calleary said: "At this stage we are maintaining the Confidence and Supply Agreement, the internal Fine Gael decision is a matter for Fine Gael we haven't seen any signal that they wish to change the Confidence in Supply Agreement and policy priorities, we have seen any signal that they wish to introduce policies into the Programme for Government that we would find an anathema.

Dara Calleary

"But if they intend to either change Confidence in Supply or introduce policies into the Programme for Government then we will have to reopen negotiations.

"But for now all we are seeing are proposals, some of which will go beyond the Programme for Government."

His party colleague Michael McGrath also seemed to question whether Government could afford to introduce some of th measures being put forward by the Fine Gael leadership contenders.

He said it is "noteworthy" that the two candidates who are "serving in a Government that has the centerpiece in terms of tax policy the abolition of USC" have been seen now "intent on retaining the USC".

"We don't want people to be given any false sense of what can be done, we don't want to see false promises made.

"It's very obvious to the Irish people that the level of resources available is quite tight, it's in the region of €500m for 2018 and that's before you have a new public sector pay deal.

"So all of the promises being made have to be seen in that light and against that backdrop," Mr McGrath said.

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