Michael McGrath: ‘Significant policy differences’ exist between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil

Michael McGrath: ‘Significant policy differences’ exist between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil
27/02/2020 (L TO R) Michael McGrath TD Barry Cowen TD Anne Rabbitte TD Thomas Byrne TD Dara Calleary TD Jack Chambers TD Darragh O Brien TD during a press briefing with the Fianna Fail Negotiations Steering Group.Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Opening government formation talks between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have established “common ground” but there are still “significant policy differences”.

That’s according to Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath who insisted that coalition efforts among parties must be ramped up given the problems with coronavirus and Brexit ahead.

Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael exchanged views on the economy, the national development plan, climate change, housing, the cost of living, and taxation among other areas yesterday.

After the first meeting between the two parties over potentially working in government together, Mr McGrath said the long day’s “opening” exchange had gone well.

But he stressed that no details were negotiated on proposed housing construction numbers or on potential income tax cuts, the latter being a key issue for Fine Gael.

Mr McGrath said his party “stood ready” to form a government as he called on others to get serious in negotiations.

“From our perspective, we stand ready to take the next step,” he said.

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