Paschal Donohoe has said that any debates over the leadership of Fine Gael will be snuffed out by tomorrow’s parliamentary party meeting, writes Elaine Loughlin, Political Reporter.
Reiterating his support for Enda Kenny, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said he would not be putting himself forward if the Taoiseach were to step down.
“I believe the kind of debate and discussion that we have seen recently is an on-going dimension of the work that political parties do," he said.
“Every political party in its participation in the Dáil has debates regarding how it would be led in the future, how it would be structured.
“That is now what has happened from a number of my colleagues over the past number of days, I expect that debate will be concluding tomorrow because the Taoiseach has made clear his determination to carry on with his work. I fully support him with that.
He added: “There is no vacancy in the leadership of Fine Gael or in the Taoiseach’s office at the moment, it’s a matter for the Taoiseach in the future.
“If a vacancy were to occur at some point in the future I won’t be putting my name forward,” he said.
Separately the Minister ruled out a return to performance-related pay increases or bonuses in the public service.
Publishing a progress report on the Civil Service Renewal Plan this morning, which will now move on to focus on staff performance and options around firing under-performing employees, Mr Donohoe said all changes to pay would only be done through the Lansdowne Road Agreement.
Asked whether he would now consider reintroducing performance related pay increases, Mr Donohoe said: “I don’t have any plans to make any further changes to the structures of public servants pay beyond the commitments that we have in the Lansdowne Agreement.
He added that achievements in the public service have been recognised through “events where we highlight the progress that different Government Departments have made”.
“Any further changes that we are going to make in the future will all be in the spirit now of completely honouring and concluding the agreement we have under Lansdowne Road,” Mr Donohoe said.