Transport was on the agenda in government formation talks as Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party try to strike an agreement on a programme for government,

The deputy leaders of the three parties were expected to meet today as they seek to agree a wording around what efforts might be made to reduce the country's financial deficit from 2023 onwards.

The talks are now reaching the point where consensus is becoming more difficult to reach.

Last night, a meeting between the parties did not find a way to agree the wording that would signal a commitment to begin reducing the country's projected large deficit in three years.

It is estimated the figure could be anywhere from €6 billion to €14bn at that stage.

Transport was due to be discussed by the three parties but they also have to look at the key area of social protection in the coming days, which will mean addressing pre-election promises to postpone the planned rise in the pension age to 67 from next year.

This negotiation will take place amid indications that these pledges could now prove difficult to deliver.

The Minister for Education has said Fine Gael is serious about going into government, and an election at this time, during this crisis, would be the right thing to do.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sarah McInerney, Joe McHugh said the public have demanded nothing less than a government.

He said we must change the way we do politics, and the way TDs work in both opposition and in government.