The Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, has dismissed suggestions that the economy is too dependent on the construction sector.

Responding to new figures showing that the sector now accounts for 25% of Gross National Product, Mr Cowen said that Ireland still had a deficit in infrastructure.

He has also said that the budget in December will not be a give-away budget.

Instead, he said, spending with be targeted at health, education, capital investment, and pensioners.