Varadkar's 'tinge of regret' handing over top job to Martin

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he has a “tinge of regret” handing over the role of head of government, as the new proposed three-way coalition takes shape.
Varadkar's 'tinge of regret' handing over top job to Martin

Leo Varadkar.
Leo Varadkar.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he has a “tinge of regret” handing over the role of head of government, as the new proposed three-way coalition takes shape.

Speaking about the proposed new government made up of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens, he also said there would be a stimulus package for the country unveiled in July as well as more supports for the economy announced in October's budget.

Speaking at government buildings, he and Tánaiste Simon Coveney said they hoped the proposed three-way deal would be accepted by Fine Gael.

Mr Varadkar confirmed he would be Tánaiste after Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin takes over his role when and if the coalition is agreed by the parties in the next two weeks. He confirmed that all three parties would count voting from members on the proposed deal on Friday week on June 26 and that a new government would need to be up and running quickly after to pass laws.

Mr Varadkar also said that it was not necessary for the markets to see exact predictions about reducing the government's deficit in the programme for government. Instead, he reiterated that the deficit would be tackled “once there is a return to growth”.

Mr Coveney tried to allay rural party concerns over the deal, saying that emissions targets demanded by the Greens would not necessarily meet 7% next year. "No one was saying this", he said, and equally there were no deficit targets in the government plan.

Mr Varadkar also dismissed criticisms that a lot of rows, including over pension reforms and housing, had been fudged and left for commissions or committees to discuss.

He quipped that there were critics who would say that was a “recipe for indecision”, but said such paths had worked out for previous assemblies and committees in recent Irish history.

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