DUBLIN — Ireland’s embattled prime minister said yesterday he would dissolve Parliament on Tuesday and announce a new date for early elections, as the upper house began debate on legislation to slash spending and raise taxes.
Brian Cowen said he intends to ask President Mary McAleese to dissolve the Dáil, the national Parliament. He would then announce a new election date, which must be within 30 days.
That election is expected to result in a drubbing for Cowen’s Fianna Fail, Ireland’s long-dominant party, and usher in a new team led by the Fine Gael party. Cowen, who was Ireland’s finance minister from 2004 to 2008, is widely blamed for Ireland’s stunning slide from Celtic Tiger boom economy to the brink of bankruptcy.
The finance bill is designed to comply with a massive international rescue loan.
The legislation is expected to pass. It includes a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid to employees of any Irish bank that needed state support.