The Tánaiste has dismissed concerns about European involvement in the Irish budgetary process as ‘populism that is inappropriate and incorrect’.

Mary Coughlan was responding in the Dáil to Opposition demands for more information on the proposal.

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The House had to be adjourned for ten minutes this morning after bad-tempered exchanges.

The issue was first raised by Sinn Féin's Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, who welcomed Richard Bruton's comments on the subject on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland and said he and others had been predicting such a threat to Irish sovereignty during the two Lisbon Treaty referendum campaigns.

Labour's Joan Burton demanded to know when the Commission proposal would be laid before the Dáil.

She also asked if the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance had agreed to the Commission suggestion.

The Tánaiste told the Dáil Ireland's sovereignty was not an issue.

She said this kind of enhanced financial co-ordination was already legislated for in the Lisbon Treaty.

But Deputy Burton said this was not the case. She said the Treaty provided for the right of a national parliament to debate issues before they go to the EU for scrutiny.

She wanted the Commission document to be brought before the House.

Ms Coughlan said the whips would decide next week if any discussion was needed on the issue.

The proposal was also discussed in the Seanad today.

Fine Gael’s Liam Twomey said it was unbelievable that the Government seems to be accepting a proposal that suggests they are not to be trusted with the running of the country.

Independent Senator Joe Toole said the plans hardly amount to attack on our sovereignty and said Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael should calm down their arguments on the matter.

Green Party Senator Dan Boyle said EU involvement in the budgetary process has been in place since the Maastricht Treaty.

Earlier, speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin accused Fine Gael of 'recklessly undermining' the national interest and future jobs while responding to claims by Fine Gael Finance Spokesman Richard Bruton that the proposals could jeopardise this country's low rate of corporation tax and see the introduction of new taxes.

Minister Martin said that raising the unfounded spectre of losing control over our taxation policies undermined efforts to bring new foreign investment to Ireland.

Mr Bruton said there was a danger that other EU countries would have their own agendas and that the role of the Dáil would be diminished.

Earlier, he had said Fine Gael was opposed to any such measure and was astonished that the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance seemed willing to surrender crucial decision-making powers to Brussels.

Last night, the Minister for Finance accused Fine Gael of seeking to whip up anti-European sentiment at a time of serious financial difficulty for the European Union.

In a statement in response to Mr Bruton's comments, Mr Lenihan said it was reprehensible that the main opposition party was advancing such entirely unfounded assertions.

Minister Lenihan said Mr Bruton knew there was nothing in the Lisbon Treaty that diminished Irish sovereignty in fiscal matters.

He said Mr Bruton also knew that the Government secured a protocol confirming this position in advance of the second Lisbon referendum.

The Minister accused Fine Gael of pandering, for its own political purposes, to a jingoistic, anti-European line of argument - worthy of the far reaches of Euro-scepticism.