LABOUR, FINE GAEL AND THE Green Party have agreed to facilitate the passing of the Finance Bill this week so that the Dáil can be dissolved by Tuesday.
An election on 25 February now looks likely.
Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan met with opposition parties’ finance spokespersons this evening to discuss a schedule for the passage of the Bill.
All stages of the Bill will go through the Dáil by Thursday, and then go before the Seanad on Friday and Saturday to go over the Bill, Eamonn Ryan told RTÉ’s Six One News. The Dáil would then meet on Tuesday to be dissolved.
Some elements of the Finance Bill may have to be left out in order for it to pass quickly. Brian Lenihan confirmed that the provisions on Civil Partnership would certainly “fall by the wayside” this week, and said they could be dealt with later in the year.
After being asked by Lenihan to leave the meeting at the Department of Finance, Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty said Labour and Fine Gael had agreed to facilitate the Bill in a “grubby little deal”.
Sinn Féin had wanted Labour to pursue its motion of no confidence in the Dáil tomorrow, rather than support the passing of the Finance Bill. Doherty said the Dáil could be dissolved by Tuesday. That no confidence motion will not now go ahead.
Sinn Féin said Doherty had initially refused to leave the meeting, saying he was as entitled to hear the discussion as the other elected representatives, but was again asked to leave during a break and at that point left the meeting.