Noonan says no budget outline until September

Minister asked about using €1bn from promissory notes to cut savings needed

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said targets had to be met, with the ultimate one being to get the deficit below 3 per cent by the end of 2015.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said targets had to be met, with the ultimate one being to get the deficit below 3 per cent by the end of 2015.

Mon, Jul 1, 2013, 01:00


Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has said the outline of his October budget will not be drawn up until the middle of September.

“What I am minded to do is to take all the data that is coming forward and assess it. And if you hear anything about what Michael Noonan is going to do on the budget, between now and the middle of September, you will know the people giving you the estimate do not know what they are talking about because I am not going to call this until about mid-September.’’

Promissory notes
Mr Noonan was responding yesterday to a question on the RTÉ television programme The Week in Politics if he was persuaded by arguments that he should use the €1 billion savings in the promissory notes to reduce the savings required from €3 billion closer to €2 billion.

Targets, he said, had to be met, with the ultimate one being to get the deficit below 3 per cent by the end of 2015.

He added that the target for the next budget was 5.1 per cent. Using the leeway from the promissory notes totally to reduce the deficit, instead of getting to 5.1 per cent on the correction necessary, would mean getting to 4.4 per cent, he said. “So there is room between 4.4 and 5.1 to see where we will pitch the deficit this year and that, in cash terms, is about €1 billion.’’

Mr Noonan said the Irish domestic economy was now stabilising. “All this evidence will be taken into account when we are formulating the budget.’’

He said the economy was about a year ahead of where he thought it would be when he took over as Minister.

Mr Noonan said the CSO’s report on growth was disappointing and that was something that would be analysed and taken into account in preparing the budget.

“But it is only one stream of that,’’ he added. All data would have to be considered.

“For example, we built the budget on growth rates of 1.3 per cent. The tax flow coming in for the first six months of the year is in line with that and our tax profiles are in line for the first half of the year.’’

Mr Noonan described as “appalling’’ the contents of the Anglo Irish Bank tapes, adding that the recordings were made more than four years ago.