Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the Dáil said that the sacrifices of people have had to make in recent years are well known and the help from the IMF and the European authorities came at a high price.

Delivering Budget 2014 - which contained €2.5 billion worth of spending cuts and tax increases - he said its purpose is to continue the progress we have made, to reinforce policies that grow the economy, to establish the conditions which will create jobs and to prepare for exiting the bailout programme.

Mr Noonan said the Government will bring in a deficit of 4.8% in 2014, while it will also bring in a small primary surplus. He said this will demonstrate that our national debt , which as been rising for so many years is under control.

The Dáil was told that one of the primary tasks of the Budget is to lay down the conditions for a successful exit from the bailout programme at the end of this year - to fund ourselves fully through the international markets in a sustainable way at competitive interest rates.

''We are well on course to do this and as the economy continues to grow and jobs continue to be created, we have a fair wind on our backs to achieve our objectives and restore out sovereignty,'' the Minister stated.

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, has said that the measures in Budget 2014 will reassure international investors that the country is committed to reducing the deficit to below 3% of GDP by 2015.

Mr Howlin said it seeks to put the country on a path to long term debt sustainability and to ease the burden on future generations.

He said that this is the last of the country's Budgets under the fiscal constraints of the Troika programme. ''We have made good on our commitments to the international community that has supported us. We do not underestimate this effort. It is a testament to the fortitude of the Irish people," he told the Dail.