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Ireland's bailout progress is "on track" - says the Government

The EC, ECB and IMF will give their verdict this lunchtime but for now, Ministers Howlin and Noonan claim that we hit all targets. “Further difficult choices” await us though in Budget 2012.

Brendan Howlin and Michael Noonan at a review of our bailout progress last April
Brendan Howlin and Michael Noonan at a review of our bailout progress last April
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced that Ireland has met “all targets” set out in the bailout conditions by the EC, ECB and IMF.

Speaking ahead of the lunchtime press conference by the financial support troika, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that the third quarterly programme review of how Ireland was meeting its commitments had been successful.

He said:

I am pleased that the mission has concluded that Ireland is meeting all of the conditions and targets of our programme. We have met the fiscal targets. We have met the banking targets. We have met the structural reform targets. I am also pleased that the external partners have concluded that the Irish programme is on track and we are making good progress.

Noonan said that Ireland had met a number of financial sector reforms ahead of schedule, including the merger of AIB and EBS; the merger of Anglo-Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide into the Irish Bank Resolution Company; the finalisation of a plan to recapitalises Irish Life and Permanent; and the offering for sale of the Irish Life insurance subsidiary.

Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, said that public finances were showing “welcome signs of stabilisation”, with tax revenues increasing and public expenditure “on target”. He claimed also that the public service wages bill is “being managed and is on target”.

However, he gave a hint of further cuts, mentioning a “comprehensive review” of current and capital expenditure. A statement from the two ministers warned that while the programme is on track:

We are acutely aware that further difficult choices will have to be made in regard to Budget 2012.

They outline the targets and measures met in Q2 of 2011 here>

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