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"Less cutbacks, less tax increases" needed for Budget 2015 --- Noonan

Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin say we’ll need less of an adjustment than initially thought… But it’s too soon to say how much less.

Image: Niall Carson

MICHAEL NOONAN AND Brendan Howlin were sending positive signals that October’s Budget may not be as harsh as initially feared as they headed in to a Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings this morning.

“In April, when we were projecting the adjustments necessary, we thought that it would be necessary to increase tax and cut expenditure by €2 billion,” the Finance Minister told reporters.

“We’ll get under three per cent now by making less cutbacks, less tax increases,” Noonan said, adding…

But it’s too early to say yet by how much.

A memo was presented to Cabinet this morning, outlining the Government’s approach to Budget 2015.

“The over-arching target is to get the deficit below three per cent and we’re on track to do that,” Noonan said.

Last year’s Budget was built on a deficit of 4.8 per cent — and the way things are going after six months of the year has gone by, we’ll beat that target so we should be able to get under 3 per cent as planned.

Howlin added that the Government would “certainly” not have to make “an adjustment of a €2 billion scale that was forecast in last year’s budget”.

“The economy has grown. The tax revenue has increased. The number of unemployed has fallen,” the Public Expenditure Minister said.

“So these are all good auguries. They’re assistances.”

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