Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan has said that the cuts in December's Budget will have to be well above €3bn.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's This Week programme, Mr Lenihan said he welcomed input from Opposition parties into the process, once they accept the need to eliminate the gap between Government spending and income.

Mr Lenihan was in Washington this weekend for what he described as 'a routine meeting' of the International Monetary Fund.

He said the IMF accepted that the Government had taken the right steps to deal with the banking crisis.