Final Budget decisions at Cabinet meeting

Monday 06 April 2009 23.58
Brian Cowen - In Fianna Fáil webcast last night
Brian Cowen - In Fianna Fáil webcast last night

The latest in a series of Cabinet meetings preparing for tomorrow's Budget is taking place at Government Buildings.

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Ministers are expected to sign off on a list of spending cuts and taxation measures aimed at raising €3.5bn in revenue for the Exchequer.

This is the tenth time Ministers have met to discuss the shape of tomorrow's emergency Budget and final decisions are likely to be made today.

The Cabinet will meet again tomorrow morning, but that is expected to be a formality.

The income levies introduced in the last Budget in October are widely expected to be doubled.

In advance of this afternoon's meeting, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Eamon Ryan said that broadening the tax base and not just concentrating on income is important.

The Government has made it clear that tomorrow's Budget is part of a process that will aim to restore the public finances over a number of years.

In a Fianna Fáil webcast last night, the Taoiseach said the Government's priorities were to maintain as many jobs as possible, help those who have lost their jobs and protect the most vulnerable to the greatest extent possible.

Mr Cowen also signalled that the Government would be making ‘big strategic decisions’ about the banking sector.