Noonan to seek Cabinet approval for €2bn in Budget taxes and cuts

Finance Minister Michael Noonan is expected to get Cabinet approval in writing today for €2bn in taxes and spending cuts in the Budget.

Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes has said the Government has some "small options" at this point, six months from Budget day, but it is understood the Department of Finance does not believe the economy has improved enough to warrant any easing of fiscal policy yet.

The Stability Programme Update will be circulated by Minister Noonan to his colleagues at this morning’s meeting at Government Buildings. The update will later be sent to the European Commission for approval.

It comes despite the ESRI's recent suggestion that the Government could meet deficit targets without any new austerity measures.

The Department of Finance believes the economy will only expand by 2.1% this year, significantly less than the ESRI’s 2.6% prediction.

Minister Brian Hayes said he believed there could be some leeway by the time the finishing touches are put to Budget 2015.

"I believe we now have some small options going into the budget, assuming these figures continue," he said. "It's important that if we have some additional funding, that we do something especially for those people who have found that they are paying too much tax."

KEYWORDS: Budget 2015
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