The Social Democrats have ruled themselves out of government formation.
The party, which has six TDs, released a statement this evening announcing that despite some correspondence between themselves, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the replies from the the civil war parties did not inspire confidence.
The Social Democrats made clear in the letter that they intend to provide “constructive opposition if the Fine Gael/Fianna Fail/Green Party coalition emerges from the current negotiations,” the statement said.
The reasons for “disengaging from the process”, laid out by co-leaders Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall pointed out that their priority is the “provision of high-quality public services” and that such an approach would require significant investment in the coming years.
They said that “nothing in the replies received from Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to date indicate anything other than a ‘business as usual’ approach”.
“An approach the Social Democrats say led to the years of austerity and unequal recovery suffered by ordinary households in the wake of the last crash,” the statement added.
The party had posed a series of detailed questions to the leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil regarding their thinking on the funding of the measures outlined in the Framework Document but said today that the “answers simply don’t add up”, and they were not convinced that Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil “intended to take a robust position regarding EU financing and what they described as the traditional fiscal orthodoxy“.
“We have seen the result of the post-2008 approach, a decade of austerity, hardship and lost opportunities for so many and the creation of what we have come to refer to as the Locked-Out Generation,” said co-leader Róisín Shortall.
”Sustainable strategic investment is the only way Ireland can emerge from this crisis in way which puts the principles of equality and fairness at the heart of the economic recovery operation.
“We are strongly of the view that trying to continue on with more of the same and a ‘business as usual’ approach will inevitably be damaging to the vast majority of ordinary households in Ireland.”