Government ‘committed’ to Lansdowne Road Agreement

Fianna Fáil leader claims deal unravelling due to administration’s ‘unilateral action’

FF leader Micheál Martin called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to produce a paper “outlining the full implications of what’s involved in terms of budget . . . and public pay policy”. Photographs: The Irish Times/Getty Images

FF leader Micheál Martin called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to produce a paper “outlining the full implications of what’s involved in terms of budget . . . and public pay policy”. Photographs: The Irish Times/Getty Images

 

The Government is absolutely committed to the “tenure and role” of the Lansdowne Road agreement, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohue has insisted.

He was responding to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin who warned that the agreement, which is to run until September 2018, appeared to be “unravelling”. Mr Martin claimed the Government had clearly signalled a change of direction in relation to public sector pay.

Referring to comments by Mr Donohue on Tuesday that discussions on the successor arrangement to Lansdowne would be brought forward, Mr Martin said “that by the way carries its own implications in terms of bringing forward the pay element earlier than would have been anticipated”.

FF unease

In a shot across the Government’s bow, Mr Martin referred to Fianna Fáil’s “confidence and supply” agreement with Fine Gael, which included support for the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

He claimed the Government acted unilaterally “without consultation with anybody” and he said “it’s important I put this marker down”.

Mr Martin called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to produce a paper on this “outlining the full implications of what’s involved in terms of budget, public pay policy, and availability of resources for health education and elsewhere”.

He said a paper should be produced on the issue “in deference to everyone”.

Mr Kenny called on Mr Donohue to answer “the detail” of the issue.

The Minister stressed “the Government is absolutely committed to the tenure and the role of the Lansdowne Road Agreement”.

Mr Donohue added that it continues up to the final payment day of September 2018.

“What I indicated yesterday was in relation to the schedule for discussions in relation to the replacement.”

He said “there is no change at all in the commitment of the Government to the schedule of payment, the tenure and the role of the Lansdowne Road Agreement”.