Government Rejects Opposition Pressures

Despite the disastrous Budget, the Government is holding strong against opposition demands to surrender a day's holiday.

On Wednesday night, they rejected an opposition call for the Dail to sit next Tuesday in order to debate the Budget and the state of the Irish economy.

The House traditionally takes the Tuesday off - following a bank holiday.

The Labour Party and Fine Gael called for the House to sit next week in order to continue the debate on the budget and the economy, but the Government rejected the proposal.

It is the second symbolic win for the Government following a defeat of a Fine Gael motion for the restoration of the automatic medical card entitlement, which was removed at last weeks budget.

Despite the Government's U-Turn, resignations, protests and apologies over the policy, the narrow vote victory of 81 to 74, even attended by an injured Bertie Ahern, has saved some political face for the Fianna Fail party.

The Government must now ward off attacks on its education cuts, as the Labour Party plans to table a Dail motion next week calling for a complete reversal on the decision to increase the pupil-teacher ratio in Irish schools.

Following the 10,000 strong protest by the nations pensioners on Wednesday, another march on the Dail is also being planned to coincide with the debate on the motion.


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