A budget to deal with the cost-of-living crisis would be paralyzed by the passage of the government’s no-confidence motion tomorrow, the Taoiseach has warned.
The motion should be rejected because “most people don’t want a general election,” the Taoiseach added, warning that any election and subsequent government-forming talks would hamper any cost-of-living steps.
Micheál Martin said that in the unlikely event that the motion passes tomorrow’s Dáil, it would result in a period of “paralysis” after an election – and block giveaways planned for late September.
He described Sinn Féin’s filing of the motion as cynical, saying that after an election, if passed, it would inevitably lead to inertia. The budget would be threatened.
But he said he was confident the motion would be defeated – although he now leads a government without a majority and some independent TDs said he has yet to approach them.
Mr Martin said there would be absolutely no “side deals” to secure the support of non-party MPs who hold the fat of his coalition in their hands.
He insisted he was running good and competent administration when he met the media in Ballymun today and said it should remain in place for that reason alone.
“I don’t take anything for granted and I respect people who support the government at all times, members of the (coalition) parties and indeed independents,” he said.
“The motion of no confidence is a cynical game by a party,” Sinn Féin, who rather speaks for destructive politics. My approach is more constructive. We want to solve problems,” he said.
“That is the fundamental difference. The Irish people do not want a general election at this time. We are in the middle of a livelihood crisis and we have a war on the continent.”
He added: “Last week they looked for a living expenses package and an emergency budget and this week they’re looking for a general election.
“An election would mean no budget package for the foreseeable future and would lead to paralysis. I think it’s a cynical exercise,” he said.
However, the Taoiseach said the government was working to “build as much support as possible in the Dáil this week”.
He said: “I’m confident because I believe in getting things done and dealing constructively with challenges and problems, dealing first and foremost with the cost of living and making sure we have a budget and no general election in the next few weeks.
“I think that would be disturbing. And I would also say that this government has taken a major pandemic from this country compared to other member states of the European Union.
“We’ve done well in terms of mortality and in terms of economic pull-through. This administration has delivered a very strong economic performance – the largest record of FDI investment in the last year and a comprehensive housing program.
“If you look at it, I didn’t see any alternatives from the opposition or any depth of detail on housing.”
The government is also heavily committed to education and climate change, he said.
“The opposition is not strong on climate change. They are weak and have not shown the backbone necessary and required to deal with the most serious and existential issue facing this country.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/most-people-do-not-want-a-general-election-taoiseach-says-sinn-fein-motion-cynical-41830860.html “Most people don’t want general elections” – Taoiseach finds Sinn Féin proposal “cynical”