Any tax cuts in budget will be minimal, says Donohoe

Minister insists he and Taoiseach ‘absolutely aligned’ on policy after Varadkar comments

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said that any tax cuts in the forthcoming budget will be "minimal" as he denied that he is at odds with the Taoiseach on the matter.

Leo Varadkar on Thursday raised the prospect of some income tax cuts in the budget, just weeks after Mr Donohoe appeared to rule out cuts due to concerns about Brexit.

Mr Varadkar said in Los Angeles on Thursday that there were “lots of different ways to put money back in people’s pockets”.

Speaking on Friday morning, Mr Donohoe said: "The Taoiseach and I are absolutely aligned in what we are going to be delivering in Budget 2020. The Taoiseach outlined that we need to be careful that we don't put in place measures that ultimately prove to be unaffordable, that we [don't] put in place a tax reduction that might be affordable in October but turns out to be unaffordable in March."


“I’ve seen that cycle before within our economy and our society and we’re not going to do that. The Taoiseach was clear in ruling that out.”

He said the budget announced on October 8th would be “safe” and “careful”.

“We are looking at some some other options that might be able to make a difference but the changes that we are looking at from a personal tax point of view will be minimal. We will continue to look at options regarding how we might be able to support families but we are aligned in putting place what will be a safe and careful budget on Tuesday week.”

Mr Donohoe said the rainy day fund was capable of playing “an important role” in dealing with potential challenges arising from a no-deal Brexit. He said he would make a decision on the status of the rainy day fund in coming weeks.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times