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'I think it is a left-wing document' - Eamon Ryan on programme for government

The proposed programme for government is a 'left-wing document' in terms of its economic approach...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.43 22 Jun 2020


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'I think it is a left-wing doc...

'I think it is a left-wing document' - Eamon Ryan on programme for government

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.43 22 Jun 2020


Share this article


The proposed programme for government is a 'left-wing document' in terms of its economic approach, according to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.

Deputy Ryan says he hopes two-thirds of members will approve the deal - although acknowledged it could be a 'very close' vote.

Thousands of members of the party are this week voting on the deal agreed between the Greens, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, with results expected on Friday.

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However, a number of Green TDs are among those who have publicly opposed the deal.

Over the weekend, Dublin South-West TD Francis Noel Duffy said he believes the proposals don't go far enough to protect the lower paid.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, Deputy Ryan said he believes there is consensus across the political system on some measures that need to be taken.

'I think it is a left-wing document' - Eamon Ryan on programme for government

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He observed: "We have to invest in public housing, public health, public transport and climate action. In talking to other parties in these negotiations, it's clear to me that that economic strategy... is where we're going. That in my mind will require the state to be bigger.

"I think it is a left-wing document, in this sense. In the particular crisis at the moment... the best approach to get the country back working again is actually to borrow and invest in stimulus and employment. The programme for government says we're going to do that for the next two or three years.

"We'll then review where we are, obviously. You do need to start balancing your books again in the long-run... but even then there's an agreement that we would try to balance the current account, we would continue to borrow for capital investment."

'It could be very close'

Deputy Ryan acknowledged the Greens would be going into government at 'one of the most challenging times possible', and that there are risks and uncertainties.

However, he is hoping that members will sign off on the deal.

He said: "We had a very good convention last Thursday - it was really an exercise in democracy.

"Of those who asked to speak 68% were arguing for the yes side, and 32% on the no.

"That's pretty much on the line... if that's reflected in the numbers of people [that vote] then yes it could be very close."

The Green leader says he doesn't know what will happen if the Greens reject the deal, but does believe the Dáil would quickly need to agree on a new Taoiseach.

He suggested: "If we say no, I think it would be very hard for us to go back to the negotiating table.

"I had thought it would be more likely there would be a Taoiseach elected, we do need next week to renew the Special Criminal Court legislation, and there is other legislation coming.

"The political system would have to work out very quickly over the weekend... there isn't an obvious stable approach, but we would need to do that one way or the other."

However, he noted that his focus this week is on the ballot of Green Party members.

Main image: File photo of Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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