One theory I have is that Burton has agreed to a cut that she knows will drive TDs away from Labour; younger TDs who face grim career prospects if they stay in
But there is another theory I'll put out there:
Option 1: Implement cuts and stand by and watch as TD's break away in droves.
Option 2: Instead realise - after decades of hard bitten experience in Sinn Fein, Official Sinn Fein, WP, Democratic Left, the trade union movement and Labour - that splits can be orchestrated in order to defend your left flank against attack by SF and ULA. Instead of trying to oppose the breakaways, manage it by creating tacit understandings that TDs facing trouble over cuts can defect temporarily for optics before returning to the fold once the economy has recovered and all is forgotten.
Bertie managed independent FFers with great skill.
Gilmore is no less skillful. He knows that with a huge majority gov't can afford to lose a few TDs. Could he perhaps be letting key TDs temporarily defect? That way it blocks SF / ULA from gaining ground...
Stranger things have been known to happen.
I'm not saying this is what is happening.
I'm just putting it out there as a theory.