Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore led Labour ministers out of the cabinet room last weekend as the coalition experienced its most serious breakdown in relations over disagreements in the budget.
Gilmore later returned with the Labour ministers to express his party's opposition to a 3 per cent, across-the-board cut in social welfare payments, demanded by Fine Gael in return for a 3 per cent increase in the universal social charge for people on incomes of over €100,000.
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