Taoiseach predicts upcoming budget will be “last difficult budget”

IMF “entitled to their viewpoint” on budgetary approach, says Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at yesterday’s Action Plan for Jobs event

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at yesterday’s Action Plan for Jobs event

Sat, Jul 20, 2013, 01:00



Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said the upcoming budget should be “the last of the difficult budgets” and expressed hope that the economic situation would improve next year.

“This is not going to be an easy budget...we would hope that this will be the last difficult budget. Whatever way you approach it, it’s not going to be easy after the difficult decisions that have been taken in the previous two budgets.

“Hopefully, if we can keep our economy on track here, this should be the last of the difficult budgets. Hopefully things will improve after that.”

Mr Kenny said IMF spokespeople were “entitled to their viewpoint” when he was asked about their comments this week that the Government should stick with its plan for a €3.1 billion adjustment in the October budget.

Craig Beaumont, head of the IMF’s mission here, said on Thursday the organisation “would attach priority to the amount of adjustment” rather than percentage deficit target that Ireland is aiming to hit.

Mr Kenny said: “Our objective is to have our deficit below 3 per cent by 2015 and that obviously depends upon how you adjust budgets. Clearly the IMF are entitled to their viewpoint, but we are set on achieving the target of a deficit below 3 per cent by 2015.”

Mr Kenny was speaking after the launch of a progress report on the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs . The report conceded that 20 of the planned measures had not been delivered on schedule.

Mr Kenny said a “pretty hefty” legislative period and the timing of the EU presidency had been factors.