Independent Alliance at odds with Donohoe ahead of budget

Group unhappy with progress on housing, health and social protection

 Independent Alliance Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent Alliance Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Major issues remain between the Independent Alliance and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe ahead of next week’s Budget.

All five members of the Alliance met Mr Donohoe on Tuesday evening for an hour and 15 minutes after a difficult meeting late last week.

In a statement, the Alliance said it is not happy with the progress on issues they have raised in the area of housing, health and social protection.

Listen to Inside Politics

It says major issues have “remain unresolved” and Mr Donohoe has yet to offer any clarity on when they may be.

The Alliance is seeking a number of new measures. Members had requested additional resources for carers, increased money for Housing Assistance Payments and a financial payment for stay-at-home parents.

The Independent Alliance has also proposed increasing gambling tax from 1 per cent to 1.1 per cent. It is estimated that would raise €5 million, which the group wants ring-fenced for addiction services.

The group held a similarly tense meeting with Mr Donohoe last week where members said they were “really annoyed, “disappointed” and “unhappy” with how the discussions had proceeded.