Tanaiste Joan Burton: I'm not a quitter and want to stay the course until 2016
Tanaiste Joan Burton has said that she is "not a quitter" and "wants to stay the course" in Government until 2016.
The Labour Party Labour has rejected speculation that Taoiseach Enda Kenny will pull the plug on the Coalition after the Budget and set an election date in November.
Ms Burton said she remained "very confident" that it will be 2016 before voters go to the polls.
Asked if she was being bounced into an early election, she replied: "No. We had a long discussion this morning about the Budget obviously and also about all of the work that we have to do as a Government."
She again cited the need to finish the work of the Banking Inquiry and said there was a series of initiatives associated with the Budget that needed to be progressed.
In response to backbench Labour TD Arthur Springs statement that he would not support a vote-transfer pact with Fine Gael if the election is held early, Ms Burton said:
"I'm not sure that anybody who is a decision-maker in this has actually said that there is going to be a November election. We have a lot of work to do."
She added: "I've never been a quitter. I want to stay the course and see the work that we've start.
"We're working away. We have the first budget in a long time where there is a significant capacity to spend."
On the Budget, Ms Burton said the discussions which took place at a special Cabinet meeting this morning were "a pleasure".
Environment Minister Alan Kelly has said that he has "no doubt" the election will be next year.
"I think the Taoiseach is very honourable, has always been very honourable. All along the Taoiseach has said that he would choose a date in early 2016. He has always kept his word on everything and I expect that to be the case here as well," Mr Kelly said.
"He has always indicated that it would 2016 and I have no reason to believe any different."