Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said he would support a policy of backing a Fine Gael minority government in the next Dáil if the positions set out by his Government in its economic recovery plan are adhered to and the new FF leader Michael Martin backs such a move.
He made the comments today after Mr Martin appeared to suggest that he would be open to supporting a Fine Gael minority government after the General Election.
Asked on Today FM's The Last Word if he would be willing to support such a government, Mr Martin said: ‘Yes I would.’
‘I think that is in the interests of the people and of the country. If the right policies are being pursued, I will support them.’
Speaking in Tullamore this afternoon, Mr Cowen said that whether Fianna Fail are in government or in opposition he was sure the party would adopt a responsible position as long as the economic recovery plan is being implemented.
Mr Cowen said he had not yet decided whether to run again as a TD in the General Election. He is expected to tell party members of his decision on Monday.
A spokesman for Mr Martin later said the suggestion that he would support a minority Fine Gael government was ‘hypothetical’.
The party would adopt a Tallaght-type strategy position - if it were in Opposition - to support government policies in line with its strategy for economic recovery.
Fine Gael will reverse minimum wage cut
Fine Gael has said it would reverse the minimum wage cut imposed in the budget, if the party is returned to power.
It is understood the party leader, Enda Kenny, and Finance spokesman, Michael Noonan, raised the reduction at their meeting in Brussels with the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso yesterday.
Mr Noonan said: ‘Fine Gael's proposals for Budget 2011 were based on a number of principles, one of which was that the most vulnerable members of society would be protected. That is why we opposed the cut in the minimum wage.’