October 7, 2019
Pearse Doherty challenges Finance Minister to head to head budget night debate

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has challenged Minister Paschal Donohoe to a head to head debate on budget 2020.

Speaking today Teachta Doherty said the traditional budget night debate has always been between the minister and the lead opposition spokesperson but since Fianna Fáil started supporting Fine Gael budgets under the confidence and supply deal successive Finance Ministers have refused to debate head to head with Sinn Féin as the lead party opposing the budget.

He said;

“The Confidence and Supply deal has had a lot of unintended consequences but one which was done be design rather than default was the end of the budget night debate between the Finance Minister of the day and the lead opposition spokesperson.

“In response to Budget 2017, the first budget under confidence and supply, RTÉ proposed a debate between myself and Minister Michael Noonan.  However, after a fuss from Fianna Fáil, Minister Noonan refused to debate with me head to head and instead we had the first of the panel debates that we have now had each year since.

“The panel debates are all well and good but they do not create the space for a detailed debate about the budget and that is a loss to viewers in my opinion.

“Therefore I challenging Minister Donohue to debate Budget 2020 head to head with me tomorrow evening.

“Neither Fianna Fáil nor Fine Gael, should be allowed to dictate what type of debate RTÉ host on budget night.”

ENDS

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