Labour TD Tommy Broughan has said he hopes all Labour party TDs will join him on the Opposition benches to oppose elements of the Government's economic policy.

He said he could not support adding more debt on the shoulders of the Irish people.

Mr Broughan lost the Labour Party whip this afternoon after voting against the short allocation of time for the debate on the extension of the bank guarantee scheme.

Deputy Broughan also voted against the extension of the bank guarantee itself - a vote the Government comfortably won by 99 votes to 30.

Deputy Broughan now joins his colleague Willie Penrose, and former Fine Gael TD Denis Naughten in self-imposed exile from the Government benches.

Ahead of the vote, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the Eligibility Liabilities Guarantee scheme is due to expire at the end of December.

The minister said the ELG scheme would be subject to six-monthly EU approval. He said approval has been sought and is expected to be given until 30 June 2012.

Mr Noonan said it is also necessary to seek views of the European Central Bank on these matters. He said the ECB believed a further extension would be beneficial.

The Central Bank has advised that the Government continues with the scheme, as has the National Treasury Management Agency.

"The need for the extension of the scheme is beyond question," said Mr Noonan.

"Ireland does not have a choice"

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath said the debate was taking place against "an extraordinary backdrop of uncertainty and fear."

Mr McGrath said Ireland does not have a choice as a country - as the consequences of ending the guarantee would be extremely serious.

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty said the motion to extend the guarantee must be the single biggest U-turn in the history of the Dáil.

Mr Doherty said the Dáil is being asked to write a blank cheque for the banks, including Anglo Irish Bank.

Minister Noonan responded by comparing Mr Doherty to cartoon character Bart Simpson, always in denial 'no one saw me do it, it was the other fella'.

"Sinn Féin is trying to rewrite history and pretend that it had a consistent line throughout the debates on bank guarantees."

Mr Noonan reminded Mr Doherty that Sinn Féin voted for the bank guarantee.

People Before Profit Alliance TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the motion shows that there is not a scintilla of difference between the current Government and the last.

Independent TD Shane Ross said the usual suspects were being wheeled out in support of extending the guarantee.