FORMER TAOISEACH JOHN Bruton has said that government ministers should discuss their differences in the secrecy of the Cabinet room as opposed to publicly.
The former Fine Gael leader was speaking in the aftermath of the criticism of the government over the mixed messages that were given out over the household charge and water metering.
In another case, the Social Protection Minister was criticised by one Fine Gael TD who asked had she a “government deathwish” while Ministers were heavily criticised for giving out misinformation about the cost for the imposition of water meters in homes.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Bruton said that he did not “see any merit at all” in ministers discussing their differences outside the Cabinet room when it could all be done in secrecy.
He said: “I think it is very important to recognise that anyone who is a member of the Cabinet is in a privileged position and they have an opportunity to express whatever is on their mind and to speak as frankly as they like in the secrecy of the Cabinet room.
That’s why we have Cabinet secrecy so that people can speak freely. I think that’s where differences should be thrashed out, around the Cabinet table or in private.
“I don’t see any merit at all in advertising different points of view outside the Cabinet room. I think that applies in coalition governments just as it applies in single party governments.”