It has emerged that Fianna Fáil is seeking a €200m initial investment in a new affordable housing scheme as part of the Budget negotiations.

The party said the proposal would result in the provision of 4,000 homes on State-owned lands in its first year.

The Fianna Fáil parliamentary party gathered in Malahide, Dublin, today as the party prepares for the return of the Dáil next week.

Party leader Micheál Martin described hospital waiting lists and the housing situation as "scandalous".

Mr Martin has also denied that backbenchers are facing criticism from members over the confidence and supply deal with Fine Gael.

The details come as Fianna Fáil resumed its budget discussion with the Fine Gael's Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe today. 

Michael McGrath said that Fianna Fáil has now outlined its main proposals as the negotiations continue.

The upcoming Budget is the third and final one under the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the minority Government.

Fianna Fáil has rejected attempts by Fine Gael to enter into negotiations before Budget 2019 to extend the arrangement.

The party is holding firm that the talks can only begin after the Budget, when the deal expires.

The party's public expenditure spokesperson, Barry Cowen, said the Budget talks with Mr Donohoe, which are the second round of discussions, will be more detailed and his party would be placing an emphasis on public services.

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