Budget 2015 was a “missed opportunity” for the Government to reduce its debt levels, according to ratings agency Moody’s.

The agency notes that the deficit is due to fall below 3% next year – in line with targets – however it says the decision not to go even further “leaves the country’s public finances more vulnerable to unexpected shocks”.

It also means that the Government runs the risk of having to take “more challenging corrective measures” to meet future targets.

Moody’s also expresses concern about the impact of any exodus of multinational firms currently operating here, specifically in the context of the decision to end the “Double Irish” tax regime.

However it says it does not expect the changes announced in Budget 2015 to result in this, particularly because of Government plans to offer new incentives like the “knowledge development box”.

It also notes that an economic recovery is already well underway in Ireland, and points to upward revisions in the Department of Finance’s GDP forecasts for the year ahead.