Taoiseach says Govt to get deficit below 3% by 2015

Monday 29 July 2013 10.52
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that there had been no discussion on adjustment details as yet at Cabinet
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that there had been no discussion on adjustment details as yet at Cabinet

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that the Government will meet its target of getting the deficit below 3% by 2015.

Referring to the Fiscal Advisory Council's chairperson's view that the Government should pursue an adjustment of €3.1 billion, he said it is important to say that these are matters for negotiation based on information and fact.

Mr Kenny said that this would become clear at the back end of September.

He said that there had been no discussion on the details as yet at Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the Fiscal Advisory Council Professor John McHale said the Government should pursue an adjustment of €3.1billion in October's Budget.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week programme, Professor McHale said not pursuing that figure was a risky strategy.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said over the weekend that a €3.1 billion Budget adjustment was not an agreed target.

Mr Gilmore said he does not see a case for doing more than is necessary to meet the Government's target of getting the deficit under 5.1% in 2014.

Professor McHale said: "The money adjustment targets are directly relevant in that much of Ireland's credibility in terms of showing it has the political capacity to make the necessary fiscal adjustments really revolve around meeting those targets,"

He also said that it was hard to see how the Government's deficit targets would be achieved if there was a significant scaling back on proposed social welfare cuts.

Professor McHale said: "Given that the Social Protection budget is about 40% of total spending, and the adjustments that were pencilled in of €440m involves about a 2 to 2.5% reduction in Social Protection spending"

He said: "it is hard to see how the necessary adjustments could be achieved if there was a significant scaling back beyond that €440m."