herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

TDs look for leaker in Berlin

A GROUP of Irish politicians are in Berlin today to tackle their German counterparts over how details of our Budget were leaked in the Bundestag.

Seven TDs and one senator will hold two-day talks with German politicians and business groups on what is being dubbed a "fact-finding trip".

While members of the foreign affairs committee lapped it up in luxurious accommodation during a trip to Ethiopia in November, the finance group will have to settle for a modest two-star hotel.

And the politicians claim that they will not be enjoying a "lavish lifestyle" and intend to raise "serious issues on behalf of the ordinary Irish taxpayer".

Fine Gael TD for Wexford Dr Liam Twomey told the Herald that for too long, discussions with our European partners had taken place "behind closed doors". "People are entitled to express some scepticism about discussions like these but we are going to Germany to thrash out ideas and discuss the core issues affecting both countries as well as Europe," he said.

"Too often discussions are behind closed doors -- taking place with the likes of the ECB and the European Commission. This gives the ordinary politicians a chance to have their say and discuss possible solutions to the serious debt crisis."

The country was left shellshocked in November when details of our Budget, including the planned 2pc VAT hike, was leaked in the Bundestag.

The gaffe caused major embarrassment for the Government who have lodged a complaint with the European Commission.

It emerged that the Budget plans were sent to all member states on the EU's economic and financial committee.

hnews@herald.ie

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