Two Fine Gael junior ministers differ on Budget plans

Sunday 15 September 2013 22.30
Brian Hayes said the Government should surpass the deficit reduction target
Brian Hayes said the Government should surpass the deficit reduction target

A month ahead of Budget 2014, two Fine Gael junior ministers have expressed diverging views on the adjustment needed for next year.

Minister for European Affairs Paschal Donohoe has indicated that the Government may look at implementing an adjustment of less than the planned €3.1bn, if next year's deficit target is met.

However, Minister of State in the Department of Finance Brian Hayes has indicated that he does not believe the Government has much room to manoeuvre on the adjustment of €3.1bn.

He told RTÉ News that he believed the Government should surpass the deficit target for 2014 of 5.1%, under the adjustment programme.

He said this would send a strong signal to the markets.

The Labour Party has called for the adjustment to be less than the planned €3.1bn.

Meanwhile, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said that she can not say if the Government is considering a cap on social welfare.

Speaking on RTÉ's Marian Finucane programme this afternoon, she said there is nothing decided in relation to the upcoming Budget.

However, she said that every aspect of social welfare must be examined.