Eamon Ryan plays down prospect of early election despite budget row

Michael Bolton

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan says he doesn’t think there will be an early general election, despite growing differences over the next budget.

The Minister for Transport addressed alleged conflict within the Coalition surrounding proposed tax breaks for middle-income earners put forward in an opinion piece by three Fine Gael TDs.

"I don't think will be an early General Election and I don't think there is a need for it. What we need to do is focus on getting the right budget decisions in October, and we are best doing that among ourselves rather than promising left, right and centre in the next four months.

"This is a Government that is working well together. There is a high level of trust and co-operation. I think we need to do our budget in October, not in the four months in-between, but that isn't a sign of Government not able to work, we are very determined to deliver the housing, and the energy, and the transport solutions we need.

"I think Tánaiste [Micheál Martin] is right. We need to focus on our immediate work, and the budget work will speak for itself when it is published in October.

Earlier this week, Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness described an opinion piece as “kite flying”.

Mr Martin also is understood to have told a Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday night that junior ministers writing opinion pieces undermines the budgetary process.

Mr Ryan denied this move was part of a plan towards an earlier general election and said the best preparation for the budget is among the Coalition partners.