The European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund have said the Irish bailout programme is succeeding, although there are challenges ahead.

In a statement after the troika's latest review, they said Budget measures were being determined by the Government and would be assessed by the three institutions in the coming weeks.

Troika representatives later told reporters at a news conference there was a "substantive discussion" on the possible measures in the Budget, with all possible options discussed.

Earlier, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the troika was interested in plans for the Budget, but said it would have "no difficulty" if one measure under the bailout programme was substituted for another of equal value.

Speaking at a news conference, Mr Noonan reiterated that the Government's target for the Budget was for a deficit of 8.6% of gross domestic product.

The Minister said that if this could be reached with €3.6bn of measures, it would be done, but he said the Government would go above that figure if necessary to reach the 8.6% target.

Minister Noonan said Exchequer figures for October and November would have to be examined because they were big months for tax.

Asked about whether the Government should go further than its targets in the forthcoming Budget, the Ajai Chopra of the IMF said the troika had endorsed the budget deficit target of 8.6% of GDP for next year, adding that the economy needed growth.

He said there should be more transparency in banks' balance sheets, calling for an improvement in how banks recognise losses and set money aside to deal with these.

The European Commission has said that cutting the costs of legal and medical services and those provided by state owned companies would protect the purchasing power of consumers in Ireland.

Klaus Masuch of the ECB said the bank's opposition to imposing losses on senior bondholders had not changed.

He said he was convinced Ireland's debt was sustainable and could be paid back, as it was one of the "most productive" countries in the EU.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said the Government had made it clear it wanted to use the proceeds of any sales of State assets to stimulate growth in the economy.

He said the Government and the troika would continue to engage on this issue between now and the next review.

On the sale of State assets, Istvan Szekely of the European Commission said it was difficult for financial targets to be set because of market conditions.

He said privatisation was important for structural economic reform as well as for revenue, but there was no need to rush into it as it was not a "game-changer" for the Irish economy.

He said the troika's focus was on sectors where there was no clear justification for Government ownership.

Minister Noonan also said the Government's medium-term budgetary statement for the three years between 2012 and 2015 would be published at the end of the first week in November.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it is the Government's ambition to get back to the bonds markets in the shortest possible time.

No referendum expected

Elsewhere, Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has said she does not expect that Ireland will have to hold a referendum on Europe in the next 18 months.

Speaking following a meeting with policymakers and European media in Brussels, Ms Creighton said: "I don't think there's any question of a referendum.

"But the Irish people will ultimately, if the question of treaty change in the interests of Ireland was put to them, they'd vote for it. If treaty change is not in Ireland's interest, then they won't vote for it."

Ms Creighton said it was absolutely essential that a comprehensive deal on the eurozone crisis was agreed at the summit this weekend.