FF/FG policy document to be presented to leaders today

The document agreed by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for a potential framework for government is to be presented to the party leaders this afternoon.
FF/FG policy document to be presented to leaders today

The document agreed by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for a potential framework for government is to be presented to the party leaders this afternoon.

The document, which has been described as a "broad framework for government" has been produced by the respective negotiating teams from both parties over the last number of weeks, in the hopes of enticing a smaller party into coalition to make up the 80 seat majority needed to form a government.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe says the parties are meeting this afternoon for final sign off, before sending it back to party leaders Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin.

"The next stage, if the two parties come to mutual agreement this afternoon between the negotiating teams on the draft document, the draft document has to go back to the two party leaders," he said.

"It's up to them to decide if they're going to affirm it, and then it's down to them to decide what they want to do.

"Each negotiation team is in contact with the party leader all the time, but it's just a final step, they'll want to see what emerges out of meetings today, and make sure they're happy with any changes that happened.

"In our own party that Taoiseach has been well aware of all that we're doing, he'll just want to see does the end product look different from during the week."

The document features targets on the current crises in housing, health, and the economy as well as climate change and childcare.

When signed off by leaders, it's assumed it will be distributed via email to smaller parties and independents, before teleconference negotiations will begin with interested groups next week.

"I would emphasise that this is the basis for discussion," Mr Donohoe added.

"The document that will be agreed will reflect two things.

"The first thing is the message we've heard from on February 8, and the second thing is the economic reality of where we are now post-COVID19, but I do believe there's going to be enough of developments in it, that I hope smaller parties will feel that they want to play a part in talking to us."

Labour, the Social Democrats and the Greens have all previously ruled themselves out of any possible coalition with Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, citing irreconcilable differences on policy, however the two Civil War parties are hoping the document will allow enough scope for one of the smaller more progressive parties to join in government if agreements can be reached.

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