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Keaveney "determined" to remain Labour party chairman

The Labour TD described the budget as a “conflict of ideologies” and said the issue was one of proportionality with Labour making up only one third of government.

Colm Keaveney
Colm Keaveney
Image: TV3 Tonight with Vincen Browne

LABOUR PARTY CHAIRPERSON Colm Keaveney has said his “own value system” would not allow him to vote with the government on the respite grant cut in the Dáil today. However he said he is “determined to remain as chairperson of the party.

Keaveney sided with opposition parties in voting to remove the cut, from €1,700 to €1,375 per year, as part of the Social Welfare Bill.

The motion was nonetheless defeated by 54 votes to 87 when taken electronically, and by 55 votes to 89 when repeated through a manual vote.

In an interview with due to air this evening on TV3′s tonight with Vincent Browne, Keaveney said that over the past couple of weeks he “failed to reverse some of the odious cuts that emerged on Budget Day”.

He said a number of days prior to the announcement of the budget it became apparent to that the budget was going to be” regressive, particularly with low, middle income workers”.

He described the budget as a “conflict of ideologies” and said the issue was one of proportionality with Labour making up only one third of government.

Keaveney said the cut to child benefit “resonated very strongly” with him as he had promised families in the election that he would protect it.

“I remember vividly promising families in the last general election that I would try to keep the scarce few bob in their pockets and would try to get children through this,” he said.

The Labour party Chairperson said he had spoken to Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore about his concerns before the budget was published and was asked not to make any decision until he looked at the budget in its entirety.

When asked if he would now resign his position as chairperson Keaveney said, “I am determined to stay as chairperson of the party”.

He said that when it comes to critically important negotiations in the future that a Labour stamp is put on those discussions.

Keaveney said he is not tempted in any way to join any of the opposition parties and will continue as a Labour party member.

The full interview will air tonight at 11pm.

Read: Labour chairman Keaveney votes against government on respite grant cut>

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