FG insisting on Jobs portfolio in reshuffle

Labour leader Joan Burton and Taoiseach Enda Kenny will continue discussions today after six hours of talks ended last night without agreement on the allocation of Cabinet posts.

Fine Gael is insisting on holding onto the Jobs portfolio, which party sources say has been the main pillar of its approach to Government to date and where it believes hard-won progress should not be put at risk.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton defended his steer of the department, saying 18,000 jobs were created through foreign investment in the past three years, “and this is something we intend to build on”.

He said: “Enda Kenny gave me a job which was to create 100,000 jobs by 2016. We have made a very good start on that but there is a long way to go.”

A change to junior ministerial roles — where some departments like Health and Jobs have two junior ministers, and others like Social Protection have none — is also due to be discussed.

Measures surrounding pay of low earners, including the introduction of a living wage, are among the priorities of Ms Burton. She is also expected to press for a second free pre-school year to help families with childcare costs.

Cork North-Central TD Kathleen Lynch is tippedto be among three Labour politicians in line for a promotion to the Cabinet.

Gender balance and the need for a senior ministry in Cork — where it suffered the greatest losses in the local elections — are part of the considerations.


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