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Tuesday 3 October 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Sam Boal/ Joan Burton in Dublin Castle this morning
# smackdown
'We've a new Troika in town': Joan doesn't think much of the new party
The Tánaiste has been reacting to the launch of the Social Democrats yesterday.

JOAN BURTON HAS described the country’s newest political party as “an interesting blend” but questioned whether the Social Democrats have any economic credibility.

The Tánaiste was responding to the launch of the new party by independent TDs Róisín Shortall, Catherine Murphy and Stephen Donnelly yesterday.

The trio will jointly lead theparty until after the next general election, leading Burton to remark that there is a “new Troika in town”.

“It’s a new departure for an Irish party to have a troika leadership so I think that’s an interesting development,” she said. 

Speaking to reporters ahead the National Economic Dialogue in Dublin Castle this morning, Burton said she sees many similarities with another new party, Renua, which was launched in March.

The Social Democrats include two former Labour members in Murphy and Shortall, who was a junior health minister in the current coalition government until her resignation in 2012.

Burton was also critical of the party’s proposal to abolish water charges.

“As an economic plan I am not sure it amounts to a lot. But it does show there are an awful lot of competing voices there, particularly at the time of the election for the next government,” she said.

Now whether they can all come together on a platform which will actually set out the best interests of Irish people I think that’s more debatable.

She added: “We saw Renua with a particularly narrow platform [and] they [Social Democrats] seemed to have quite a narrow platform yesterday.”

“The choice people will have to think about is can we get and develop a government in this country that will govern in the interests of all the people, young and old, families with children, individuals, people who need work , people who are already back at work. That’s the mix we have to address.”

Read: 6 things you need to know about Ireland’s newest political party

WATCH: We asked Stephen Donnelly to tell us more about his brand new party

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