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Minister For Finance Confirms €600m Less Required In Budget 2014

Tuesday, 08 October 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: RTE News Ireland
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Author: RTE News Ireland

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said €2.5bn is to be taken out of the economy in the Budget and not the projected €3.1bn.

Speaking on his way into Cabinet, Minister Noonan said that resurgence in the economy and "significant savings" will make up the rest.

He said: "Things are going well. It is still of course going to be a tough Budget, but maybe not as tough as we thought it would be a couple of months earlier."

Mr Noonan was also asked about comments made by SIPTU's Jack O'Connor that the union would propose pay rises across the economy if the Government exceeds its target of reducing the Budget deficit.

The minister said there was "clearly no scope" for public sector pay rises following the Haddington Road Agreement.

However, he added: "If private companies feel they have to have modest pay rises, they should go ahead and negotiate them."

On Friday, Mr Noonan said his aim with the Budget was to beat the deficit target, achieve a primary surplus and to enable Ireland to exit the bailout programme.

He said he wants Ireland to be seen as a safe country to lend to at relatively low interest rates.

The parameters and strategy of next week's Budget is being put to Cabinet today.

Arriving at Government Buildings, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said this was based on the most recent data available and discussions with the Troika.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn said the Government realised "everyone is suffering", but it would try to "minimise" this in the Budget.

He said if there was one thing the Coalition could have done differently since coming to office in 2011, it was to "communicate more sympathetically the difficulty we faced in trying to fix things", while realising the level of suffering for people and their families.

Sinn Féin Budget proposals

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin is proposing a 7% tax increase for income over €100,000 and increases in DIRT and second home taxes.

The party said it would abolish the property tax and refund homeowners.

Sinn Féin is also proposing to increase employers' PRSI on the salaries of high earners.

The party is also pledging to extend free GP care to under fives in a package of adjustments totalling just under €2.5bn.

Speaking on the Today with Sean O'Rourke programme, finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the Government should think of hard-pressed families when deciding on details within the Budget.

He said: "I think where we part company with the Government we believe that struggling families need to be given back and that's why, in our Budget proposals, we propose to abolish the property tax.

"We propose to take 296,000 earners out of paying [Universal Social Charge]. We believe that the 86,000 carers who got cuts in the respite grant should be given that money back."

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