Department of Finance sets out stall on Budget 2014

Wednesday 19 June 2013 13.30
The Department of Finance documents are the first step in discussions about the next Budget
The Department of Finance documents are the first step in discussions about the next Budget

The Department of Finance is sending the first document setting out the parameters of Budget 2014 to other Government departments today, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said.

He said this would be the first step in discussions with Cabinet colleagues about the Budget.

However, he would not be drawn on suggestions by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton that Family Income Supplement could be reduced if there was a higher minimum wage.

Asked about the potential for an income tax cut in the upcoming Budget, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the matter has not been discussed by Cabinet yet.

Speaking at a press conference alongside Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Mr Kenny said the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform “will bring a joint memo to government on the strategy in regard to the Budget... I don't expect that the detail of the Budget will be entered into at this stage.”

“Matters for the Budget will of course be discussed by the Cabinet in due course,” he said. “Let me say that it is part of our Programme for Government that there would not be any increase in income tax.

“We believe this is fundamental in the context of the creation jobs, not to put obstacles in the way of jobs being created.”

Ulster Bank not discussed with Osborne

Meanwhile Mr Noonan has said the issue of the future ownership of Ulster Bank did not come up in discussions on banking he held with British Chancellor George Osborne on Friday.

He was speaking following speculation regarding the future ownership of the bank, as the British Government reviews its options for Ulster Bank's parent RBS.

Mr Noonan said the future of Ulster Bank was of interest to Ireland.

He also said the decision of the G8 yesterday in relation to taxation would not impact on Ireland.

Mr Noonan said the key issue was some companies were not tax resident in any country. However, he said the companies that were tax resident in Ireland were paying tax in Ireland.

He said "misleading" interpretation of Ireland's tax levels was based on profits generated outside Ireland being incorrectly attributed to the country.