Gilmore signals Budget adjustment is possible

Tuesday 10 September 2013 23.12
Eamon Gilmore said Ireland has met all of its Troika obligations
Eamon Gilmore said Ireland has met all of its Troika obligations

Tanáiste Eamon Gilmore has said it should be possible to reach the 3% deficit target in the Budget without having to impose the full €3.1 billion of spending cuts and taxes previously signalled.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Seán O'Rourke, Mr Gilmore said there was not a case for doing more than the target in what was going to be a difficult Budget.

He said Ireland had met all of its Troika obligations.

Mr Gilmore also said no final Budget figures had been agreed because "we have to wait for income and expenditure figures that will come later in the month".

He said he was "satisfied that we can reach our target this year by doing a budget adjustment by less than €3.1bn".

The Labour leader also said he was unhappy with presentations from bank representatives at last week's financial committee.

He said the banks shifted the responsibility of debt onto the borrower, but "where we need to get to is to a situation where people get a settlement of their debt situation and get on with the rest of their lives".

Fiscal Advisory Council recommends €3.1bn Budget cut

The Fiscal Advisory Council has recommended that the Government aim for a €3.1bn adjustment in this year's Budget.

The advice comes despite economic data showing this may not be required in full to meet Ireland's bailout targets.

FAC Chair John McHale told RTÉ's News At One that it was possible to hit Ireland's targeted spending on the general deficit - capped at 3% by 2015 - with less than the €3.1bn.

A further €2bn would be required next year.

However, Professor McHale said there is considerable uncertainty over the economic data and it would be advisable to aim towards cutting spending by more than the lowest amount that seems currently possible.

He said current data suggests that any easing off in the planned reduction would be by no more than a few hundred million earmarked for reduction in Budget 2014.

Professor McHale said more economic data was needed to assess the situation properly.