Joan Burton hits out at existence of Cabinet subcommittee, despite being a member herself

The Tánaiste sits on the Economic Management Council along with Enda Kenny, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin

enda kenny, michael noonan, joan burton, brendan howlin, membership, Economic Management Council, cabinet, subcommittee


Joan Burton has hit out at the existence of a powerful Cabinet sub-committee - of which she is a member.

The Tánaiste and Social Protection Minister says the four-member Economic Management Council - which was established in 2011 following the formation of the current Government - has come close to outliving its purpose.

She adds that the rest of Cabinet should be involved in major decision-making.

The council is chaired by the Taoiseach, with the Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform Ministers also members.

The EMC has been heavily criticised by Opposition parties, with Micheál Martin having previously questioned its constitutionality.

Before she became Labour leader, Joan Burton regularly criticised the EMC as it meant other ministers did not get to take part in major debates.

She says she appreciates the reason it was set up, but that reason is no longer valid.

"It formed a very useful mechanism for making, at the height of the [financial] crisis, very tough decisions," she explains, but states that she has always preferred an approach involving the entire Cabinet.