FIANNA FÁIL TD for Cork East Ned O’Keeffe has said that he will withdraw his support for the government if welfare payments are cut.
O’Keeffe told the Sunday Independent that the cuts planned for the coming budget would be “a disaster that will leave us [Fianna Fáil] dead” and said that an election before that December budget is now almost inevitable.
The former European Parliament candidate said that he and other TDs “won’t wear the Budget if there are cuts” in welfare payments. Any cuts, says O’Keeffe, would destroy Fianna Fáil support “amongst the working class families in the terraces.” O’Keeffe believes that Fianna Fáil would “kill its own people” if it were to implement new cuts.
Last week Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary South Mattie McGrath said that his support for the government is contingent on the retention of acute services at South Tipperary General Hospital.
Independent TD Noel Grealish also withdrew his support for the government earlier this month in protest over a government refusal to provide extra funding for a hospital in Galway.