Economy centre stage as Dáil returns for new term
Cuts in Government expenditure to outweigh tax increases by factor of 2 to 1, Noonan says
Cuts in Government expenditure will outweigh tax increases by a ratio of about 2 to 1 in next month’s Budget, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said today.
Warning that the required budget adjustment could not be achieved by tax increases or expenditure cuts alone, Mr Noonan said: “I think people should know that the adjustments to the budget will be a combination of expenditure cuts and tax increases. It’s unrealistic for anyone to suggest you can do it just by increasing taxes.”
Mr Noonan made his comments as Ministers gathered at Government Buildings this morning for a Cabinet meeting.
The Dail resumed this afternoon after the summer recess.
“It’s just as unrealistic for someone to suggest it can be done with no tax increases. It will be a mixture of the two to get us a significant adjustment. It will roughly be in the proportion of 2 to 1. Two on the expenditure side one on the tax side. That’s a rough divide,” he said.
Mr Noonan said there are no specific proposals for tax increases or cuts in spending.
“It’s impossible to come up with a figure at this stage. The CSO will be releasing more figures tomorrow, which will give a general indication of where the economy was for the second quarter.
“Then we’ll have the tax and expenditure returns for the end of September. It’s always at the very end that there are difficulties, but we haven’t got to that point yet. We have no specific tax increase proposals or expenditure cut proposals on the table yet”.
“We never talk about the specifics of the Budget until we announce them on Budget day.”
The Budget and the referendums to abolish the Seanad and establish a new court of appeal are expected to dominate discussions when the Cabinet meets this morning.
Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett informed deputies by email last night that speaking slots will be incorporated in the rotation of Dáil speakers, after the initial spokespersons round.
Chaired by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and comprising Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan as well as Mr Howlin, the EMC is tasked with deciding all key economic policy decisions.
Speaking to reporters at Government Buildings, Mr Howlin said all views would be taken into account in the October 15th Budget.
“We will take them all into consideration as we construct a Budget that is the right one for Ireland to get us out of the bailout process and that will ensure that the growth that we have begun to see, the recovery that we have begun to see is bedded down and that we create and sustain jobs as our number one priority.”