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Noonan confirms Budget 2014 to be brought forward to October

EU finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today to ratify proposals contained in the two-pack, a series of financial governance measures, which the Minister said would mean an earlier budget.

Michael Noonan with his last budget in December 2012.
Michael Noonan with his last budget in December 2012.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

FINANCE MINISTER MICHEAL Noonan has confirmed that the next Budget will be brought forward to October this year subject to EU finance ministers endorsing the so-called two-pack in Brussels today.

Ministers from the bloc of 27 EU member states – EcoFin – meet today with Noonan telling the media this morning that they will be looking to endorse proposals contained in the two-pack, a series of financial governance measures finalised by EU bodies last month.

Under the measures every EU member state would be required to submit its budget to the European Commission for scrutiny in October to ensure that it complies with the EU law.

Noonan said this morning that endorsing the proposals contained in the two-pack will mean that Ireland will hold its Budget in October.

He told the media in Brussels: “I suppose the most noticeable effect from that in Ireland is that the budget will be brought forward to October this year.”

It had previously been suggested that there would be a draft budget formulated for consideration in October before the final proposal would be delivered in December but Noonan previously said this may not be possible in Ireland.

Speaking after he delivered his last budget in December, he said: “I’m not too sure our system would sustain a draft budget announced in October, and everybody ganging up to stop it between then and December.”

Asked about the agreement reached between eurozone finance ministers last night on lengthening the maturity of Irish loans, Noonan said it was important to get agreement from all 27 finance ministers today.

“The sense was that there’s a willingness across all members to do something for Ireland and Portugal in this area,” he said adding that there would be “varying levels of difficulties” in each country in getting agreement to lengthening the repayment of the EU portion of Ireland’s bailout.

He said that in some cases agreeing a deal for both Portgual and Ireland would require “a visit to parliament in certain countries” suggesting this could be done at the same time that some countries will need to ratify a €17.5 billion bailout for Cyprus.

More: Deal could delay repayment of Ireland’s EU bailout loans

Read: Prospect of October Budget welcomed amid calls for more open process

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Hugh O'Connell

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