THE FINANCE MINISTER has indicated that the Government will aim to surpass deficit targets in this year’s budget.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Michael Noonan said that he was hoping that budget adjustments would bring Ireland’s deficit to below the 5.1 per cent required.
Noonan said that the Government had not yet decided on a figure for the budget adjustment, but said that he would be “minded” to beat the 5.1 per cent figure.
Noonan said that beating the target would give confidence to the financial markets.
“5.1 per cent is the target, but I feel that it is important to beat that. I’d be aiming for the high fours.
“That would give the markets confidence.”
Asked by Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty why he did not follow the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s hopes to meet the 5.1 per cent figure dead on, Noonan said that the Budget was an important one.
“The primary purpose of this Budget is to position us to exit the bailout.
We’re being watched by the international markets. If we just hit the 5.1 per cent, there is a risk of drift.
“If we beat the targets, that will convince the markets that we can be lent to at a reasonable interest rate.”