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Michael Noonan: "Austerity as we know it is over"

Finance Minister tells TheJournal.ie he will be “cautious and prudent” to secure the economic recovery in the coming years.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

MICHAEL NOONAN HAS said that “austerity as we know it is over” as he hopes that economic growth can reduce Ireland’s debt burden in the coming years.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie at Leinster House this evening, the Finance Minister said that the focus in the coming years would be on increasing employment and bringing people who have emigrated back to Ireland.

He was speaking after today’s Budget announcement included a number of measures aimed at reducing the tax burden on low and middle income earners.

He rejected charges that elements of tax changes are regressive in that lower income earners don’t benefit as much as those on high salaries.

“It’s impossible to deliver relief with tax cuts to people who don’t pay tax,” Noonan insisted.

Asked by this website if today’s announcement marked the end of austerity, he said:

“Well, you know, austerity as we know it is over, but you always have to cautious and prudent about the future. Certainly the policies I will follow will all be geared to ensure that austerity is over.”

We also asked the Minister about that cough that dogged his Budget speech. Watch more from the full interview… 

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Originally published 5.39pm

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Hugh O'Connell

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