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Micheál Martin criticises party politics and Budget leaks

He refused to be drawn on speculation about a possible coalition between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has strongly criticised the government for ‘playing a game’ ahead of this October’s Budget.

Speaking at a commemoration ceremony in Cork, Martin said he expects “a continuation of daily leaks” over the next six weeks “about what is or is not going to be in the next Budget”.

“People have already stopped listening because they know it is all a game,” he added, noting that the past two Budgets were “preceded by leaks and followed by major claims to have delivered fairness and growth”.

Expected to rule out any future coalition possibilities with Fine Gael during today’s oration, Martin skirted the issue, speaking of the perceived failures of the current administration.

“The last thing our country needs is a continuation of the approach where politics is seen as being about parties and politicians endlessly jockeying for position,” he told the crowd at the Liam Lynch celebration.

“Since the last election we’ve seen what happens when a government made up of the strongest two parties takes control. Its dominance has led directly to a growing arrogance and an ongoing betrayal of basic promises. This is no model for our country’s future.

Speculation about who may or may not be asked to form a future Government ignores the frustration of the Irish people with how politics has been conducted in this country; while speculation about a coming together of the country’s two largest political parties ignores the damage being done to Irish politics by the current record majority in Dáil Éireann.
Before the last election, Fine Gael and Labour followed a cynical and negative approach to politics before winning the largest ever majority. Their only focus was election day and achieving power, which is how you reach a position where TDs are being expelled from government parties for voting in favour of the policies they fought the election on.

He also dismissed claims that supporters of political parties in Ireland choose allegiances based on civil war history.

Keeping the Seanad

Calling for the electorate to reject the government’s referendum to abolish the Seanad, the Cork TD claimed that Ireland’s political system is broken.

“The government claims to be interested in reform, but in reality has taken repeated steps to concentrate more and more power into the hands of a tiny cabal of ministers,” he argued.

“Let’s be clear, there is not a single person who wants to retain the Seanad as it currently constituted,” he added. “But only by voting to retain it can we demand reform.”

More: Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin the most popular coalition option

Poll: Would you welcome a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil coalition?

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