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Cabinet ministers meet in July at the cabinet room in Farmleigh. A meeting tonight to agree a legislative programme before dissolving ended without agreement. Julien Behal/PA Archive
Election 2011

Cabinet fails to agree pre-election legislative programme

Fianna Fáil and the Greens meet in attempts to decide what laws to pass before leaving power – with no success.

THE TIMING of the general election remains unknown this evening, after a three-hour cabinet meeting between ministers from Fianna Fáil and the Green Party failed to reach an agreement on the government’s legislative agenda.

Though the Greens today insisted that they would remain in power until the Finance Bill is enacted – marking the final legal aspect to last month’s Budget – the seven-or-so weeks of Oireachtas time remaining would allow the government to push through other legislation before the Dáil is dissolved and the general election called.

Tonight, however, RTÉ News’s David McCullagh told the 9pm news that a three-hour meeting where ministers had hoped to decide on which legislation should remain on the government’s agenda for the coming weeks ended without agreement.

Instead, ministers will now have to resume their meeting tomorrow morning – when the Dáil itself resumes after its Christmas break.

The Green Party had been adamant to ensure that its own favoured legislation – such as the Climate Change Bill and legislation to give Dublin a directly-elected mayor – was enacted before the party leaves government.

Opposition parties estimate that the Finance Bill will complete its passage through the Oireachtas when it clears the final stages in the Seanad on February 26.

Watch more on the RTÉ Nine News >