Noonan: not much will change as Troika leaves

The Minister for Finance said Ireland will still have to impose tough austerity measures, even though the Troika are leaving.

Speaking at a press conference to mark the official end of the bailout programme on Sunday, Michael Noonan said Ireland's budget deficit remains too high and that more efforts are needed to bridge the gap between income and spending.

He admitted that not much will change next Monday, when the Troika gives up its role in managing Ireland's economic affairs.

"We must continue with the same types of policies, because the deficit is too high and it has to brought down to 3%," he said.

"The debt is too high, and we have to have strategies to make the debt even more sustainable than it is now."

Noonan also said the Irish people are the heroes of the recovery, but warned the hard work is not done yet.

The real heroes and heroines of the story are the Irish people,” he said.

“They have had their taxes increased, they have had their services cut drastically, some of them including public servants have had very serious pay cuts.

“Everybody has had cuts in their pensions as well. But they have continued to supported the Government.”

However this afternoon the European Commission has warned that the economy may not perform as well as expected next year.

Its final review of Ireland's bailout progress includes a forecast of economic growth of 1.7% for 2014.

That is significantly lower than the Government's own forecast, and could force a more severe Budget next year.

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