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Eamon Gilmore speaking in the Dáil this morning.
Eamon Gilmore speaking in the Dáil this morning.
Image: Screengrab

IMF recommendations 'not something government has to follow' - Tánaiste

Eamon Gilmore was responding to the International Monetary Fund’s statement on completion of its annual review of Ireland’s affairs.
Jul 19th 2012, 11:19 AM 2,022 18

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said that the latest comments from the International Monetary Fund are not something that the government has to follow when it comes to determining its budget for next year.

He was speaking following an IMF statement last night which urged action in areas such as universal child benefit and medical cards which it said could be targeted for savings along with non-means-tested pensions which, the IMF said, could generate significant savings.

In the Dáil today, Gilmore said that the comments of the IMF were “not in the context of the programme we are operating and not in the context of next year’s budget” as it came under the Article 4 provision which is “strategic in its focus and considers mediums to long-term policy schemes”.

In response to questions from Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Gilmore said: ”They are not specific recommendations in the context of next year’s budget and they are not specific recommendations made in the context of the programme.”

“At this point of the year I don’t think it’s appropriate to speculate about what may be in the Budget,” later adding: “It is not something that the government has to follow, it’s not part of the programme.”

This morning’s Leaders’ Questions also saw a return to the Fianna Fáil frontbench of Éamon Ó Cuív, who resigned as the party’s deputy leader over its referendum stance but was recently appointed its agriculture spokesperson.

Ó Cuív’s return prompted much shouting from the government benches with one TD remarking: “He hasn’t gone away you know” while later Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brenan Howlin said that Ó Cuív had been “reconditioned”.

“Can I welcome Deputy Ó Cuív back to active service,” Gilmore remarked. “Great to see you, I have to say.”

The Galway West TD raised the issue of cuts to community employment schemes but Gilmore said that Ó Cuív had a “hard neck” to lecture the government on the state of Ireland’s finances given his role in the previous government.

Gilmore also faced questions from Shane Ross over the appointment of the governor of Bank of Ireland.

But the Tánaiste would not be drawn on what he said was a matter for a private bank, remarking that Ross would be complaining if the government was be seen to be interfering in the bank’s affairs.

Poll: Should child benefit be means-tested?

Read: Irish economy has stabilised, but more reform needed

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Hugh O'Connell


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