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Labour issues Finance Bill timetable

Labour issues Finance Bill timetable

ELAINE EDWARDS

The Labour Party today reiterated its pledge to leave its motion of no-confidence in the Government on the table this week unless Fianna Fáil agrees to pass the Finance Bill through all stages by Friday.

It proposed a timetable which it said would enable the legislation to pass all stages in the Oireachtas within the week, with the Dáil then dissolved on Saturday and a general election called for February.

The timetable allows 26 hours of debate on the finance provisions.

In a statement, Labour’s finance spokeswoman Joan Burton said the party had never accepted the claim by Fianna Fáil that it would not be possible to have the Finance Bill dealt with by the Dáil in one week.

“The delaying tactic is nothing to do with the devoting more time for the Finance Bill and all about giving more time for Fianna Fáil and its leadership election process,” she said. “If the political will is there, the debate on the Finance Bill can be completed this week.”

It said one of the most “complex and detailed” pieces of legislation ever dealt with by the Oireachtas (the Credit Institutions Stabilisation Bill) was disposed of in a single day just before Christmas “because the Government wanted it done”.

The party proposed setting aside all routine business to deal with the Finance Bill and said aid it would be prepared to cede three hours of its Private Members’ time. “I will be bringing this timetable to the meeting with the Minister for Finance and we will be proposing it when the Dáil meets tomorrow,” Ms Burton said.

Ms Burton said Labour’s motion of no-confidence in the Government remained on the Order Paper and would be taken tomorrow evening with a vote at 8.30pm on Wednesday unless Fianna Fáil agreed to the timetable.

“I want to emphasise that the Labour Party remains strongly opposed to major provisions of the Finance Bill. All we are proposing is an agreed timetable for debate in the Dáil. We will table amendments in the normal way and call votes as appropriate.”

Ms Burton said the “shambles of a Government” had to be brought to an end to “give the country the new start it so desperately needs”.

Source: www. irishtimes.com

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