Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said he would like to remain in his position if the Coalition returns to power after the next General Election.

"Despite all the progress that has been made, there is an element of a job not finished yet and I would like to follow the same policies."

Speaking on RTÉ's Sean O'Rourke, he said: "If we are back in government and the Taoiseach wants me to serve in cabinet, certainly finance will be the ministry I will be interested in."

Mr Noonan also said Budget 2016 will not be as generous as Budget 2015. 

He said last year growth took place fairly rapidly, which meant that targets could be met by rising tax revenues which left them with the option of an expansionary budget.

"What happened last year was that the change took place and took place fairly rapidly," he said.

"So we went from a situation where we had a three year consolidation programme and then on the fourth year there was a kind of last phase and a further €2bn in cutbacks and tax increases were pencilled in.

"Then we found the economy was growing so quickly we didn't need to meet our targets by doing that and we were actually able to meet our targets by having a mildly expansionary budget and the growing economy funded," he said. 

Mr Noonan said the Government has already included the growth from this year into the figures and he said that the economy did not grow as much or as rapidly as it did in 2014.

He denied the expansion of Budget 2015 was anything to do with the Local Elections.

He added that his decisions have nothing to do with politics and that when the circumstances change, he changes his mind.

Mr Noonan said if there is any surplus money going forward that it will be used against the national debt.

Noonan wants Bank to review mortgage limits

Earlier, it emerged that Mr Noonan wants the Central Bank to review the impact its new mortgage limits are having on the supply of houses for first-time buyers. 

The Central Bank offered relief to first-time house buyers when it finalised new regulations earlier this year that introduced curbs on mortgage lending aimed at avoiding a repeat of the 2008 property crash. 

The rules have helped ease a recovery in house prices which had rebounded particularly strongly in Dublin amid a lack of supply.

But Mr Noonan said builders believe the regulations are too restrictive and contributing towards the shortage of homes.

"Market conditions are changing rapidly and there are aspects of it now which, according to the construction industry, are inhibiting starter homes," Mr Noonan told the Irish Times in an interview. 

"All I'm saying is the bank should review. If the bank say we're not changing anything then of course I'll accept that," he told the newspaper.

Under the rules, mortgages are subject to an 80% loan-to-value (LTV) limit but only for those buying for the second time, while first time buyers can borrow 90% of the first €220,000 of the cost of a home. 

However asking prices for houses in Dublin range from €250,000 to over €500,000, meaning the exemption may only apply to less than half the cost of a mortgage for some first-time buyers. 

Mr Noonan and his department resisted the new rules when they were first flagged a year ago and the Minister is due to appoint a successor to outgoing Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan in the coming weeks. 

He told the Irish Times that 30 applications were under review for the post which carries a seat on the European Central Bank's governing council and that a shortlist of three candidates would be interviewed. 

After the economy grew by 7% in the first half of the year, Mr Noonan added that when his department updates their economic forecasts next month, it will show that Ireland's debt will fall to "95ish%" of gross domestic product at the end of 2016, compared to a previous forecast of 100%. 

The minister has already said the ratio would fall below 100% by the end of this year. 

He also said that assumptions for how quickly Ireland will balance its budget ahead of a 2018 European Union deadline was also "moving forward with the very rapid growth."

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has said she believes it is very important that the mortgage cap for first-time buyers is addressed.

Ms Fitzgerald said conditions have changed in the housing market in the past year and that gave scope for Mr Noonan to consult with the Central Bank on the issue.