Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Michael Moynihan TD, has responded to Minister Pat Rabbitte’s criticism of colleague Joan Burton and her decision to cut €5 million from RTÉ’s budget.

Deputy Moynihan commented: “Minister Rabbitte’s comments are the clearest public indication yet of the growing dysfunction at the heart of the Labour Party in Government. For one senior minister to describe another’s budget strategy as ‘desperate scrambling around to find savings’ is highly unusual. When the two Ministers are from the same junior coalition party, there is a serious problem.

“Minister Rabbitte’s skills as the de facto minister for sarcastic sound bytes are well known and he will have chosen his criticism of Joan Burton very carefully. His dismissal of his colleague’s ability to plan her budget undermines the carefully stage managed bonhomie at the recent Labour Party think-in.

“The Labour Party is in crisis. Quite apart from this fall-out, the fact that Pat Rabbitte chose to attack Joan Burton on the basis of a €5 million cut to RTÉ, while he took to the airwaves to defend and praise her decision to take €44 million from pensioners by abolishing the telephone allowance, speaks volumes about this new Labour Party’s priorities.”