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Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe Alamy Stock Photo
Going nowhere

Paschal Donohoe 'not planning' to step down from Cabinet role, will contest general election

Donohoe said he hopes to keep his Cabinet brief, “but that’s a matter for the new Taoiseach”.

MINISTER FOR PUBLIC Expenditure Paschal Donohoe says he has no plans to step down from his Cabinet role and will be contesting the next general election.

On whether he’ll stick with his brief when Simon Harris takes over the government leadership next week, Donohoe said he hopes to, “but that’s a matter for the new Taoiseach”.

“I’m not going to be saying anything that’s going to make his job even more difficult.”

Minister Donohoe was speaking after a briefing on the exchequer returns for the first quarter of 2024.

He and Finance Minister Michael McGrath confirmed that there would be no “mini budget” when Harris becomes Taoiseach, as the government is still in the process of delivering Budget 2024.

So far, Donohoe’s discussions with Harris have “primarily been about updating him about what’s happening in the economy” .

“I haven’t looked for any commitments, nor would I ever.”

He added that he imagines Harris will make decisions about Cabinet after the Fine Gael Ard Fheis this weekend.

Earlier this week, Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney said he’d be stepping aside from Cabinet, but will continue to serve as a TD for the Cork South Central constituency.

Despite recent instability, Minister Donohoe said he is “absolutely confident” that the government will deliver on its mandate.

“There is some change happening, but that change can be a very regular feature of a government.

“Three parties signed up for a programme for government. It’s not an agreement between people, it’s an agreement between three parties.”

On Fianna Fáil’s take on the incoming Taoiseach, Minister McGrath said he’ll be “well-capable of fulfilling the enormous responsibility”.

He said his party looks forward to voting for Harris in the Dáil next week, stating that he expects there will be a “smooth transition”.

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