Noonan: budget will be tough, but 'we need to close out the game'
The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, said he is not fixed yet on the size of the correction needed in next month's budget.
Michael Noonan says his primary aim is to exit the bailout programme in a convincing way by running a primary surplus.
He's also signalled he'll change the self-employed filing date for next year as budgets will always be in early October from now on.
Speaking on his way into the Fine Gael think-in this afternoon in County Laois, Michael Noonan insisted regardless of the final figure, this budget will not be easy.
"Whether it's the lesser or the more, they're all tough- that much expenditure cuts and tax increases - is a tough budget," he said.
"But what I can say to people is we're coming towards the end, and we want to keep with it now - because we're like a hurling team who is five points ahead in the last quarter."
"We need to close out the game - now's no time for slacking."
Taoiseach Enda Kenny also denied that Labour were being given concessions in the budget that they can claim as "wins" during election time.
"The win-win here is for the country, for the people … this is not about individual parties, this is about our collective responsibility in fulfilling the mandate given us," he said.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, speaking at the beginning of his own party's think tank session, said a €3.1bn adjustment would be "excessive".
He said people needed a "break" from austerity. "The heart has been taken out of the domestic economy, and it needs… space," he said.
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