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Labour demands that Finance Bill be enacted this week

Labour says it will withdraw its motion of no confidence if the Finance Bill is enacted – and the Dáil dissolved – by next weekend.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE LEADER OF the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore TD, has responded to the announcement of the Green Party’s earlier today that they will withdraw from the coalition – saying that the Finance Bill must be enacted by Friday and the Dáil dissolved by the weekend, with a view to having an election called for the earliest possible date.

Gilmore reiterated his earlier statement that Labour would withdraw its planned motion of no confidence in the government providing that the Finance Bill was fast-tracked in order to facilitate an early election.

The Labour leader stressed that the only basis on which the party would agree to a deferral of the motion of no confidence was if the party received a guarrantee that these conditions would be met.

In relation to the passing of the Bill, Gilmore said: “I do not accept Brian Cowen’s claim that it is impossible to complete all stages of this Bill before Friday. If the political will is there it can be done.

“One of the most complex and detailed pieces of legislation ever dealt with by the Oireachtas  - the Credit Institutions Stabilisation Bill – was disposed of in a single day just before Christmas because the government wanted it done.”

Gilmore said: “The people would have hoped that the announcement by the Green Party that it is withdrawing from government would have marked the  final chapter in the farce that this government has become, but the uncertainty continues and Fianna Fail seems determined to cling to office for as long as possible.”

He added that the time frame proposed for the enactment of the Bill was “about creating time for Fianna Fail to elect a new leader and advance its election preparations.”

He rejected the assertion by Brian Cowen earlier today that it would be impossible to complete all stages of this Bill before Friday: “If the political will is there it can be done.

One of the most complex and detailed pieces of legislation ever dealt with by the Oireachtas  (the Credit Institutions Stabilisation Bill) was disposed of in a single day just before Christmas because the government wanted it done.”

On Saturday, Gilmore said that it was important that a general election be held as soon as possible, as Cowen’s position as taoiseach was “not tenable”.

Read Gilmore’s announcement in full >

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