Fianna Fáil TDs express concern on renewing Government deal

Deputies fear extending confidence-and-supply would ‘endorse’ recent Coalition policy

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan is among those with concerns about renewing the confidence-and-supply deal. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan is among those with concerns about renewing the confidence-and-supply deal. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Senior Fianna Fáil TDs have begun to air serious concerns about renewing the confidence-and-supply deal that underpins the Fine Gael-led minority Government.

Debate within Fianna Fáil on the issue is intensifying as the current governing arrangement is due to be reviewed after the budget, which takes place in less than a month.

They are concerned an extension would limit Fianna Fáil’s ability to oppose the Government 

Senior party sources say an influential group of frontbench deputies are concerned an extension of the deal could effectively mean Fianna Fáil “endorsing” recent Government policy. The TDs include justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan, enterprise spokesman Billy Kelleher, communications spokesman Timmy Dooley and foreign affairs spokesman Niall Collins, all are loyal to Micheál Martin.

They are concerned an extension would limit Fianna Fáil’s ability to fully oppose the Government in areas like housing and health.

Mr Martin has yet to say if he will extend the deal and rebuffed invitations from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to begin negotiations on renewal. Mr Varadkar has also proposed the next general election be held in the summer of 2020.

However, Mr Martin is likely to have the political capital to carry whatever option he chooses.