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Too early to talk of 'clean break' from bailout - Taoiseach

Enda Kenny added that Ireland’s corporate tax rate will not be up for discussion in any talks on a credit facility after the bailout.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said that it is too early to say whether Ireland will need a backstop of credit funding when the country leaves the bailout in December.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics this afternoon, Kenny said that a credit facility may not be needed because the NTMA has already built up funding. In any event, he said that discussions on the manner Ireland leaves the bailout are yet to be negotiated by the Government and relevant partners:

It’s actually too early to say that because Michael Noonan now has to go to Washington and to Brussels to talk to the Troika and the IMF about what are the best conditions which Ireland leaves the bailout. A clean break or whether there will be any conditions to be attached.

If a credit facility were made available, it would not be conditional on Ireland changing its corporate tax rate. “We have no intention of changing our corporate tax rate, it’s been 12.5 per cent for may years,” Kenny said. “It’s transparent, it’s based in law and it’s been a cornerstone of our attractiveness as a location for investment and we’re not moving it anywhere. ”

It had been suggested that some German politicians has been pushing for the condition but the Taoiseach said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has consistently said that Ireland exiting the bailout would be seen as a positive signal for Europe as well.

Kenny said that he is keen to leave the bailout behind once Ireland begins funding itself:

When we move on we want to pull the shutters behind us and move onto normal managing of proper budgeting for 2014 and 2015 and build the kind of country I know we can have.

Referendums

Asked whether there is an appetite within his party for more referendums following the Government’s defeat in the Seanad vote, Kenny said that there was not, their focus is now on budgetary matters he said. “I don’t think its feasible to have a stream of referendums every six months,” he added.

Kenny was also asked about the future of the politicians who left the Fine Gael parliamentary party and have become involved in the Reform Alliance grouping. Kenny said that he has not had any contact with them since they left but that the issue of rejoining Fine Gael is a party matter at a local level:

“It was a very clear and personal decision made by people who I invested a lot of time into actually getting elected in the first place. There was ample opportunity for everybody to have their issues to make their decision and that decision led to self-expulsion, the rules of the party are very clear,” he said.

The final figures for this Tuesday’s budget were not yet finalised according to the Taoiseach who said that they would be completed at a cabinet meeting to take place today. “Brendan Howlin has sat down with each minister and set and ceilings for each department,”  he said.

Read: ‘You know something, there’s a change happening’: Kenny confirms bailout exit in December >

WATCH: Taoiseach says ‘there will be some good news in the Budget’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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