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TDs off to Berlin to discuss 2012 Budget leaks

The Oireachtas Finance committee is heading to meet its German counterpart – the one that got our Budget in November.

Image: MICHAEL PROBST/AP

A GROUP OF TDs will tomorrow meet with the group of German MPs who were given details of the 2012 Budget before they were announced to the Irish public.

A delegation from the Oireachtas committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform are to travel to Berlin to meet the Bundestag’s Budgetary Committee – which was infamously given copies of the Irish government’s plans in November.

The group of eight TDs and one senator. representing all parties in the Oireachtas, are also set to meet with the Bundestag’s committee on European Affairs during their visit.

Committee chairman Alex White, who is leading the delegation, said the visit was being conducted in order to “establish direct working relationships” with their German colleagues, and to discuss topics like the current negotiations on the proposed EU ‘fiscal compact’ deal.

It is essential that a line of contact and exchange should open up between elected parliamentarians across the European Union.

White said he and the other members would also take their opportunity to discuss the controversy raised in November, when an updated draft of Ireland’s EU-IMF deal – including proposals for the 2012 and 2013 Budgets – was revealed in the Bundestag’s Budgetary committee.

Among the details given to those MPs were plans for the government to raise VAT by two per cent in the 2012 Budget – bringing forward two increases planned for 2013 and 2014 – and plans to broaden the country’s income tax base in 2013.

The delegation will include White (Labour) as well as Liam Twomey (FG), Michael McGrath (FF), Pearse Doherty (SF) and Richard Boyd-Barrett (ULA).

Fine Gael TDs Peter Mathews and Kieran O’Donnell will also join the committee, as will Labour TD Arthur Spring and FG senator Michael D’Arcy. The latter four members are travelling at their own expense.

In full: TheJournal.ie‘s coverage of the 2012 Budget Leaks

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Gavan Reilly

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