Govt priority to cement economic recovery - Burton

Wednesday 03 September 2014 20.11
The Cabinet last met at the end of July
The Cabinet last met at the end of July

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said the Government's priority in next month's Budget would be to cement the recovery of the economy.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, the Labour party leader welcomed yesterday's figures showing that almost €1bn extra has been collected in tax this year.

She said it showed that people were going back to work and that consumers were starting to spend again.

However, she said the country was not out of the woods yet and warned against raised expectations.

"We're not going to be able to meet everybody's pent up expectations all in one Budget.

"What we have to do now is to plan to grow this recovery. The key to it is getting more people back to work, having consumer confidence such that people spend in the domestic economy and we also have to then create at budget time a capital investment programme that will particularly address the housing issues."

Her remarks come as the Cabinet is set to hold its first meeting since the end of July this afternoon.

Ministers will discuss the situation regarding Irish troops serving in the Golan Heights and the case of the woman whose pregnancy was the subject of High Court proceedings earlier this year.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar will give his colleagues a progress report on the HSE review into the case.

A panel of three experts found the woman was suicidal and decided the baby should be delivered by Caesarean section.

Interviews with those involved in the case are continuing and a report is due later this month.

A spokesman said the minister had sought and received re-assurances that both the woman and the baby are receiving the necessary care and support.

Minister for Children James Reilly said the Government made it very clear they would monitor the Protection in Life in Pregnancy Act and the Minister for Health would update the Cabinet on that today 

Asked whether women pregnant due to rape should be allowed an abortion, he said rape is "a dreadful and heinous crime" and the consequences for women who become pregnant "is an extremely difficult situation."  

He said the Government is reflecting on that at the moment.

Mr Reilly said the Act has been in place for nine months and time is needed to study how it is operating to see how it could be improved in terms of the conditions around it.

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney will also brief ministers about the Irish troops serving in the Golan Heights.

The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces yesterday said the next contingent of Irish troops are due to be deployed at the end of the month.

However, he said they are also prepared for a troop withdrawal subject to the Government's decision and the UN review of the situation.