Minister for Finance Michael Noonan:  Fine Gael’s manifesto must say how its spending and tax plans would be funded. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Election aside, we must face the truth about financial constraints on highly indebted State

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan presenting Budget 2016: The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council says spending is rising too fast . Photograph: Eric Luke

Problems are piling up in the background even amid rapid economic growth

Prof John McHale, the NUI Galway economist who chairs the fiscal council, said the spending increase this year was funded by an unexpected surge in corporation tax. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

€1.5bn in supplementary spending marks ‘deviation from prudent policy’

Revenue said the final 2015 return likely to be ‘relatively unchanged’ from current level of receipts. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Government told €300m of €2bn surge should be excluded from 2016 forecasts

The aim of the new credit register is to provide lenders with a more comprehensive analysis of creditworthiness of borrowers, with information on their credit profile

Philip Lane prepares to take command of bank in succession to outgoing governor Patrick Honohan

Aryzta chairman Denis Lucey, who will  stand for re-election at its annual meeting in December for the last time. He has been chairman of Aryzta since its formation.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Selection follows board shake-up at food group in response to investor criticism

Margrethe Vestager: the European competition commissioner   initiated  inquiry in June 2014 after her office issued preliminary findings against Ireland. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Development delays commission’s long inquiry for second time in six months

 Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald with her predecessor Alan Shatter. Photograph: Eric Luke

Sense remains established bodies’ view has prevailed, despite some positive proposals

Enda Kenny: the Taoiseach is on record saying he will target a balanced budget by 2018 if he returns to power early next year. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Government would of course take its time to scrap the deficit – there’s an election on the way after all

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes: Ireland needs to think about what it wants from the process. “We cannot be passive bystanders”

Brian Hayes will call for debate on the ‘five presidents’ report’ at a Dublin conference

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the extent of the risk cited by the commission in respect of Ireland’s expenditure benchmark was “not significant” but accepted it underscored the requirement for tight spending control. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ireland deemed to be on track to correct excessive deficit, says Minister for Finance

The jobs recovery is making big inroads into long-term unemployment. That dropped by 29,400 (or 21.1 per cent) between the third quarter of 2014 and 2015. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Increased employment magnifies housing shortage and puts pressure on infrastructure

The introduction of the new authority will end centuries of self-regulation by the Law Society and the Bar Council.  Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Amendments will allow professional legal bodies to retain many of their powers

An update of monthly Central Statistics Office figures shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October was 8.9 per cent, down from the previously reported 9.3 per cent. (Photograph: Frank Miller /	THE IRISH TIMES)

CSO quarterly data shows rate dropped to 9.1% in July-September

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: will bring a memorandum to Cabinet on Tuesday. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Legal Services Regulation Bill resisted by professions

Legal reform: The Bar Council will retain its power to refuse membership of the Law Library to barristers in employment, partnerships or new business models. Photograph: Getty Images

Bar Council and Law Society to retain key powers under proposed regulatory regime

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan presenting Budget 2016 at Government Buildings. Photograph: Eric Luke

Authorities in Brussels expected to express reservation about rollover of €1.5 billion

Grafton (owner of Woodie’s DIY): market statement said “the recovery in Irish consumer spending became more broadly based”

Latest evidence from trading statements and tax data shows growth intensifying

  Taoiseach Enda Kenny   at the launch of Enterprise 2025: Ambitious employment targets are predicated on economic growth continuing  without    major interruption to Ireland’s   growth trajectory by  external or internal shock. Photograph:  Chris Bellew/Fennells

Master plan involves creation of more than 200,000 jobs over next five years

Former International Monetary Fund mission chief to Ireland   Ajai Chopr:   He described Mr Trichet’s letter on the eve of the 2010 bailout to the late Brian Lenihan, then finance minister, as a “gratuitous” measure. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Former IMF chief accuses ECB of putting protection of its own balance sheet first

Ms Eaton said the mileage of a motor vehicle is one of its main characteristics which provides information as to its usage and prior history.

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission took enforcement action against Dublin motor dealer

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. He said the commission had assured him “informally” that his fiscal plan for 2016 was within EU rules. Photograph: Eric Luke

Think tank says Ireland has ‘robust’ growth and Budget 2016 was ‘reasonable’

Denis O’Brien attempted to prevent reporting of Catherine Murphy TD’s Dáil speech. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Confidentiality should have been legally anticipated as a problem in IBRC inquiry

After positive results this week, Ryanair finished 0.17 per cent weaker at €14.78 yesterday – up €1.28 since Monday. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Low US unemployment figures fuel dollar’s advance against euro

Counting votes after the general election in 2011: “Any new Irish government will really need to remain compliant with the fiscal rules,” says one market observer. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Backdrop perceived in markets to be more benign than even a few months ago

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Ireland’s concern to ensure its closest neighbour and most crucial trading partner stays in the EU means he has influence on the matter in talks in Brussels.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Negative implications of Britain’s potential exit are clear from ESRI alert

The engagements will be coordinated by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin, who presented the budget to the Dáil three weeks ago. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Joint presentations will be held at a series of public meetings in towns around the State

The United Kingdom’s exit from the EU could lead to lower wages and major trade losses for the Republic. Photograph: Carl Court/Getty Images

Enda Kenny will make case for the EU in front of UK business leaders at conference

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern at a recent Brexit conference in Belfast. The ESRI finds on Brexit: “Trade is very concentrated in a few product types implying that increased trade barriers ... would have a more pronounced impact on trade volumes”

ESRI has drawn picture of the worst that could happen if UK departs

Tánaiste Joan Burton: According to the study, the gain in average household income after the budget is 1.6 per cent, the equivalent of €14.30 per week. Photograph: Collins

Analysis shows recent changes will have up to six times impact of Budget 2015

About 80% of the increase in corporation tax payments this year is understood to be attributable to multinationals. Photograph: The Irish Times

Some 80 per cent of increase this year attributable to multinational companies

Figures from the Department of Finance point to an exchequer deficit of €2.18 billion to October down from €8.5 billion in 2014.

Receipts for first 10 months €2.45bn ahead of target

The director general of the bank dismissed the assertions. Photograph: The Irish Times

Claims made selective research used to convey misleading impression

The retired governor of the Central Bank  John Hurley  disputes the thrust of Frank Browne’s statements to the inquiry. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Warnings came as early as 2004, says former head of financial stability

Yanis Varoufakis was always cast as chief swordsman for prime minister Alexis Tsipras but close observers say the Syriza machine saw him more as ‘brainy and useful’ than a core backroom figure.  Photographs: Jean-Philippe Ksiazek

The former Greek finance minister now commands hefty speaking fees. He comes to Kilkenny on Thursday, when he may share his plan (...)

Mario Draghi with Christine Lagarde: he has has been urging political leaders in the euro zone to do their bit by deploying “fiscal policies” to support recovery. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Everything done was done at the very last minute and, worse, it was all done within the narrow confines of emergency debate

The Government is preparing for a   flotation of  nationalised lender AIB in the first half of next year.

Nationalised bank is back in profit and is being prepared for flotation next year

The new Revenue measures are included in the Finance Bill, published on Thursday morning, which gives legislative effect to Budget 2016.

Finance Bill gives agency scope to secure information from third parties and banks

ECB president Mario Draghi addresses a news conference after a meeting of the ECB governing council in Malta. Photograph: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Ireland is in a sweet spot with the advancing recovery fanned by weak euro, low oil and benign conditions in US and Britain

The huge benefit Apple derives from its arrangement in Ireland is such the €30 million payments by Fiat and Starbucks could look very small. Photograph: Bloomberg

Stakes very high given scale of Apple’s operation in Ireland

Expectation has intensified that the EU Commission is preparing an adverse ruling against Apple’s tax scheme in Ireland as the institution issued negative findings against Starbucks in the Netherlands and Fiat in Luxembourg

All firms, ‘however powerful’, must pay ‘fair share’ of taxes, says commissioner

A new “petroleum production tax” is cast to ensure that discoveries made under future exploration licences will lead to an increased financial return to the State and earlier than under current arrangements. File photograph: Getty Images

Petroleum production tax to ensure discoveries lead to higher financial return for State

The selection of Prof Philip Lane (46) was ratified by the Cabinet on a recommendation from Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. File photograph: Collins Photos

Trinity College economist nominated to succeed Patrick Honohan as governor

Prof Philip Lane, incoming governor of the Central Bank: bedding down the mortgage regime, settling the arrears debacle and raising regulatory efficiency are key challenges. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell

New governor well-equipped to deal with both domestic and European issues

The new governor of the Central Bank of Ireland is Dr Philip Lane (46), Whately professor of political economy at Trinity College Dublin. (Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times)

TCD professor will assume the position from Patrick Honohan

Investigations could lead to political tensions between Washington and European powers

13/10/2015 - NEWS- Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance    at a press conference on the 2016 Budget at Government Buildings. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Ratings agency sees overall plan as being consistent with stronger public finances

 Prof  John McHale: By mid-afternoon  the fiscal council issued a statement in which it conceded that the “actual required improvement” of 0.6 per cent of GDP had been set earlier this year based on the projections then in place. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Claims on radio that the budget broke EU rules retracted by fiscal advisory council chairman

Moody’s initial comments on the budget came as Prof John McHale, chairman of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, pulled back from claims he made that Budget 2016 may break European fiscal rules. Photograph: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Unlike ratings agencies S&P and Fitch, Moody’s does not give Irish debt an A-rating

Prof John McHale, chairman of the Fiscal Advisory Council, who had  questioned the level of spending planned for 2016. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

John McHale had claimed budget had echoes of ‘mistakes we have made in the past’

While the gains are modest enough, the key point is that the largesse is spread around to the greatest extent possible in order to maximise political impact.

Emphasis is on providing a return to taxpayers who funded recovery effort

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin at Government Buildings ahead of their Budget presentation. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

A 50 cents rise in cost of 20 cigarettes - effective from midnight - is only tax increase

Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance speaking to media after the publication of End of September 2015 Exchequer Returns at the Department of Finance. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Finance expected to announce USC concessions in the region of €600m

Michael Noonan: the 2016 budget will be presented with the promise of more to come in 2017 and 2018 if the Government is re-elected. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP Photo

Entire package to ensure at least some benefit of recovery goes to every home in State

Tánaiste Joan Burton with Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Mr Kenny declined again to shut down speculation about a November poll. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Government indicates a Christmas welfare bonus of 60 per cent is on the cards this year

Michael Noonan has been told by Nama that it is willing to step up construction.

Budget 2016: Government considers proposal along with increases to allowances

 Robert Watt, Secretary-General at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Michael Noonan to nominate Robert Watt or Philip Lane as successor to Honohan

 Finance Minister Michael Noonan: Budget 2016 and  the general election are inextricably linked. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Recovery is underway in earnest but public finances remain constrained

The only new tax increase to be announced by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan will be an increase in the price of tobacco.

Coalition sources rule out increase in tax on diesel and petrol in Tuesday’s budget

A senior Department of Finance official has expressed anxiety about the “imbalance” in the housing market. Photograph: Frank Miller

Chief economist John McCarthy told the Oireachtas finance committee of shortfall

Pedro Passos Coelho looks set to form a minority government after winning the election but losing his parliamentary majority

Brendan Howlin and Michael Noonan: may stay on in current jobs if election is won. Photograph: Alan Betson

Taoiseach still not prepared to say whether election will be held before end of this year

Lloyds Banking Group was up 0.7p to 77.3p after the chancellor said the government would sell £2 billion worth of shares to retail investors at a 5 per cent discount to the market price. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Irish market takes its lead from Europe as monetary conditions expected to continue

Patrick Honohan’s successor may not be nominated until after budget meeting

Announcing the Central Bank figures yesterday were  chief economist Gabriel Fagan (left) and deputy head of research Luca Onorante. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Coalition can afford to make supplementary budget estimates and still beat fiscal targets

Austrian activist Max Schrems: the case he brought is sensitive for Dublin because many US tech firms have European headquarters in Ireland. Photograph: Christian Bruna/AFP/Getty Images

Government plea as European court set to rule on data transfers between EU and US

The latest figures show tax receipts for the first nine months of 2015 totalled €31.6 million, €1.7 billion or 5.8 per cent ahead above profile and up €2.7 billion or 9.5 per cent on an annual basis.

Government believes GDP on track to rise 6.2% this year as tax revenues surge

Increased spending marks a  greater acceptance of the narrative of recovery, even if many find they’re still not seeing it (or enough of it) in their own lives. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Increases in sales of furniture and white goods point to the release of pent-up demand

 Exchequer figures released on  Friday will show that tax payments in September beat the official target by more than €300 million. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Partial restoration of Christmas bonus and €600m extra for health on cards

Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy says the question of stability was foremost in the minds  business leaders. Photograph: Eric Luke

Ibec chief Danny McCoy calls on politicians to embrace ambitious economic plans

Capital investment plan: Strategy outlined as domestic economy recovers. Photograph: Getty Images

Government confident recovery will fuel tax receipts significantly and generate resources

The Economic and Social Research Institute said it would be better to pass a “neutral budget”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Rapidly expanding economy has no need for further stimulus, think tank tells Coalition

One suggestion is that the scheme would be confined to properties priced in the region of €300,000. Photograph: Reuters

In move to provide 15,000 homes annually councils would have to forgo €100m per year

“Tax cuts and lower oil prices have increased consumer spending, and the weak euro has helped competitiveness, with exports benefitting”

Davy’s chief economist sees recovery spreading into domestic economy after export-led turnaround

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Officials are looking for ways to make greater concessions than the agreed limit of €750m

High drug costs were a constant source of complaint within the troika during the  bailout and such concerns persist. Photograph: Getty Images

The imperative remains to cut the cost of pharmaceuticals

Search constraints: The expansion of Google’s Irish operation to 650,000sq ft from a base of 5,000sq ft in 2003 was cited by the ESRI as an example of rapid occupier expansion. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Wait of up to two years to facilitate new employer with 500 staff indicated in report

Irish Tax Institute president Mary Honohan, policy director Cora O’Brien and communications director Olivia Buckley making their pre-budget submission in Dublin yesterday. Photograph; Julien Behal/Maxwells

Cuts likely to help ‘middle Ireland’

 Central Bank building in Dublin. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Bank responds to Michael Noonan’s call for review of loan limits for starter homes

CRH office nameplate on Fitzwilliam Square. CRH finished down 1.64 per cent at €25.75. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

International sentiment drives CRH, Smurfit Kappa and food sector lower

That the politics of Europe’s migration crisis are terrible is self-evident, but the question of economic impact also arises. That is the dismal task of a dismal science. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Europe needs 50 million new workers and 28 co-operative governments

Michael Noonan said the expanding economy could continue growing for a decade. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister to ask Central Bank to examine credit limits ‘inhibiting starter homes’

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: “I’m laying plans out that extend beyond the election – so the next minister can take them up if I’m not here. It’s continuity of planning rather than continuity of personnel I’m primarily interested in.”

Minister for Finance’s economic vision is for even growth, balanced budgets and rules-based policies

The Fiscal Advisory Council asked for a “realistic” medium-term plan on budget day. Photograph: The Irish Times

Fiscal Advisory Council warns against expanding package beyond ‘prudent policy’

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Noonan spurns Ministers’ demands as Kenny says ‘We are not going to blow the recovery’

Secretary general Ángel Gurría and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at the presentation of the OECD report. Photograph: Eric Luke

Development body backs enlarged budget but warns on dangers of high national debt

Ireland’s deficit and debt ratios are coming down quickly. But theOECD says the Government should do more

Analysis: New assessment to aid Ministers as they face pressure to increase Budget tax cuts

Emergency laws were passed to  establish  the National Asset Management Agency. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The list of drastic moves by the Government and its predecessor is as long as it is dispiriting

Budget 2016: The clamour to increase funding across ministerial portfolios will intensify political pressure on Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin as he strives to divide a limited pot. File photograph: Sara Freund/The Irish Times

Spending on further 900 teachers and 500 Garda trainees sought by Ministers

 David O’Sullivan: said ‘impressive package’ on migration will be unveiled. Photograph: Sara Freund

On visit to Dublin, EU ambassador to the US David O’Sullivan dismisses criticism

The affair centres on claims by Independent TD Mick Wallace that a politician or party was to gain up to £7 million in the deal. Photograph: The Irish Times

US firm Cerberus acquired Nama’s 850-property portfolio last year for £1.3bn

Pedestrians walk past an  Allied Irish Banks branch : the bank wants to buy back former 10 branches: Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/Bloomberg

Original 12-branch portfolio sold for €100m in 2006 now has price tag of €48m

The Federal Reserve building in Washington DC with vehicles streaking past: finance expert Bill Gross said the Federal Reserve has waited so long to raise interest rates that a move now may be labeled ‘too little too late’. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Prospect of interest-rate increase by Federal Reserve kept alive by report

There’s an element in the HSE’s stance regarding funding  of asking the Government  for a good deal more than is feasible to maximise the negotiating hand, but it’s not particularly becoming. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Poor budgeting and insatiable demand for more money make for recurrent nightmare

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi says the risks to the euro area growth outlook remain on the downside. Photograph: Reuters

Quantitative easing will continue until the end of programme ‘or beyond, if necessary”

Ireland’s economy grows stronger every year. But recoveries happen more slowly than crashes, and cuts take years to reverse. A new(...)

The creation of Alphabet will split the core, highly profitable search engine and advertising business from Google’s riskier “moonshoot” projects. Photograph: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Search giant claims the restructuring will have no implications for the Irish division

Election footing: This year or next? A finely balanced decision looms. Photograph: Getty Images

State saved, the troika banished, confidence restored . . . Yet dividends decidedly modest

The big boost from the figures is coming from rising corporation tax receipts. Photograph: Getty Images

With increased departmental expenditure, the lack of consequent savings is all too clear

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan that he  expects  tax returns to come in €1.4 billion ahead of expectations by the end of the year. Photograph: Eric Luke

Corporations contribute more than €650m to €900m excess in tax receipts

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