PUBLIC EXPENDITURE OFFICIALS ‘FINE-TUNING’ BUDGET DETAILS
The Public Expenditure Minister says he is in the final stages of negotiations with individual Departments ahead of the Budget.
It comes a day after the Fiscal Advisory Council warned the Government that it should stick to plans for 2 billion euro in tax increases and spending cuts – despite the strengthening economic recovery.
Minister Brendan Howlin admits he is now putting the ‘finishing touches’ on the exact funds each Department will be allocated – and ‘very significant’ cuts may not be required.
He says the meetings with his colleagues are challenging – but are far easier now than in the depths of the financial crisis.
“My officials are now fine tuning the final spreadsheets for my engagement with ministers – some very formal, some less formal – as we clarify the overall spend and then specific issues that I need further information about” he said.
“All meetings in relation to spending are difficult – but I have ot say that they’re of a different magnitude this year than any other because I’m not seeking very significant cuts in expenditure for the first time since IW as given this job – and thank God for that” he added.