A senior Fianna Fáil TD, John McGuinness, has told the Dáil he would break with party policy and vote "no confidence" in the Government if the opportunity arises due to the housing crisis.

The chair of the Oireachtas Finance and Public Expenditure Committee said: "If someone puts down a vote of no confidence in this Government, I will vote for it - because that's the way it should be".

The statement raises further questions about the longevity of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's minority coalition Government.

Fianna Fáil, through a Confidence and Supply agreement, has agreed to abstain on votes of no confidence.

However, Mr McGuinness said this policy was "a farce" and he hoped it would "end quickly in the New Year".

Mr McGuinness was particularly critical of the Government allowing banks to sell distressed mortgages, and performing home-loans, to so-called vulture funds.

Addressing Minister of State Damien English, he said: "You and your Government do absolutely nothing about it.... Actually - you do something about it: you give them tax breaks. You don't tax them at all. You allow banks that you own to do that to your own people."

He claimed the Government was enabling what he called "thuggery" in which "families will be put on to the streets."

"You should be ashamed of yourselves," Mr Guinness said.