McGrath insists Government will serve full term despite shrinking majority

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath has said he believes that the Government is stable and will serve its full term despite the sanctioning of two Green TDs this week.
McGrath insists Government will serve full term despite shrinking majority

Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath has said he believes that the Government is stable and will serve its full term despite the sanctioning of two Green TDs this week.

There were major issues facing the country, so the Government needed to focus on what really matters rather than politics, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

The Government will ensure the country’s finances stay on a sustainable path while helping the country through this difficult stage, added Mr McGrath.

The Minister said that talks will progress next week with public service unions about pay increases. The Government had honoured in full the existing pay agreements and had acted in good faith, he said.

When asked if pay increases would be in line with inflation, Mr McGrath declined to go into specifics, that was a matter for detailed negotiations. The Budget in October would focus on pay, changing tax codes and improving social welfare, he said. Forthcoming reduced childcare costs would also reduce the burden people faced.

The current period of difficulty needed to be managed carefully. The Government had to get the country and its people through this period without damaging the economy. The difficulties at present were unprecedented in recent history, he said.

While the Government would do everything it could, it could not completely offset the impact of events such as fuel costs and the war in Ukraine. Public finances had improved, but we were now in a period of global economic uncertainty which meant it was very important to handle the public finances prudently to avoid further damage “down the line".

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