The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has said that the government is deeply concerned that documents that formed part of the negotiating process with the EU/IMF/ECB troika could surface in a German parliamentary committee.

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said that the government is deeply concerned that documents that formed part of the negotiating process with the EU/IMF/ECB troika could surface in a German parliamentary committee.

Opposition parties have asked for a full investigation as to how the documents which indicate a 2 point rise in the top VAT rate to 23% in next month's budget were given to the German parliament before being published here.

David McCullagh reports on Enda Kenny's first visit to Germany as Taoiseach. Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson, Michael McGrath, has requested a comprehensive statement from the Minister for Finance as to why sensitive budgetary information was presented to the German finance committee three weeks before the Irish budget was due to be announced.

Peadar Tóibín, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, described the divulging of this information in Europe as "shocking". The Department of Finance says that no final decision had been made and that the document concerned was in draft format.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, said the Government is anxious to find the source of the document and to ensure that any correspondence, interaction or dialogue with the funding partners is kept in the confidence that it is expected to be. An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, expressed that no final decisions have been made.