Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said his priority for Budget 2014 is to make sure we get a ''modest primary surplus'' in the country's national finances.
This is to ensure the country can exit the bailout programme, and get money at reasonable interest rates from the markets.
Speaking in Limerick today, Mr Noonan said what the markets are interested in is whether the country can run a primary surplus.
He said we will be in a position to do that for Budget 2014, and will act responsibly in keeping the financial figures on target.
The Minister said his department is still waiting for some figures by the end of this month, including CSO growth figures and Exchequer figures. But he said that once he is confident that he has a modest primary surplus, he will know what the adjustment figure has to be.
He said his commitment to taxpayers who are in difficulty is that the Budget will be ''fair'' and those with the broadest shoulders will bear the biggest burden.
Earlier, the Tanaiste and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said next month's budget would be a difficult one.
Mr Gilmore said the Government was determined to do what is necessary to meet the targets, but added that there is no case for doing more than is necessary. He said the Government had to look at the way they do the budget in a way that would relieve some of the pressure on families.
The Tanaiste said figures due out this week would help to bring clarity to what kind of budget adjustment is needed. But he said there would be more information throughout the remainder of the week before October 15.
He said last year's budget discussions went right up to the last weekend before budget day. He said he did not expect it to be significantly different this year.