The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, announced details of almost €1.4bn in spending cuts for next year and described the decisions made by government as "difficult" and "unpalatable".

This was the first part of a 2 day budget that were followed the next day by further announcements by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, who would unveil the tax cuts side of budget 2012.

David Davin-Power reports on the day’s events. Howlin also announced fundamental changes to how the budget would be presented in future years. There would no longer be a single announcement but rather a multi-year process.