The Taoiseach Micheal Martin has renewed his criticism of Sinn Féin at the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party tonight.

He told TDs, Senators and MEPs that Sinn Féin was "consistently" negative and "cynically" exploiting matters in the Dáil.

Earlier Mr Martin accused the Sinn Féin leader of taking every opportunity to tell "untruths".

Mary Lou McDonald, speaking in relation to the Low Pay Commission and the living wage remain unchanged, had told the Dáil that thousands of low paid workers kept the country going during the Covid-19 crisis.

She described the Government as being out of touch and she said the Taoiseach was in a "delusional reverie".

The Taoiseach accused Sinn Féin of making an extraordinary and outrageous political charge.

Responding to the latest criticism Mary Lou McDonald said: "As the leader of the opposition, it is my job to hold the government to account and to stand up for workers and families." 

She added: "The Taoiseach should do his job, instead of deflecting from the issues affecting ordinary people." 

In relation to the economic impact of Covid-19, Mr Martin told parliamentary party members that there was need to provide sectoral specific supports to those worst affected such as arts, hospitality, tourism, sport, and culture.

He added that the government's ongoing focus was to suppress the virus; keep as many in employment as possible; and maintain non-Covid healthcare throughout the system.

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath told the parliamentary party that there will be no "slash and burn" budget next month.

While he conceded that its framing would be "very challenging" due to Covid-19 and Brexit, Minister McGrath said the government was committed to providing the "necessary resources" to support both the people and economy. 

He said the approach would be "guided" by the need to support the economy next year through a "period of deep uncertainty."