Final tough budget to close out the game

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by Andrew Carey

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NEXT month’s budget is going to be another tough one, according to Finance Minister Michael Noonan who said that the primary aim of the Government is to exit the bailout programme and “close out the game”.

Speaking in Limerick at the ‘Walk for Life’ business breakfast this week, the Limerick Fine Gael TD said the economy and the country were moving in the right direction.

“We’re like a hurling team who are five points ahead in the last quarter. We need to close out the game – now’s no time for slacking.”

He added that the country should be nearing the end of the austerity programme but warned that tough cuts will still have to be made.

“What I can say to people is we’re coming towards the end, and we want to keep with it now”.

The Minister also signalled that he’ll change the self-employed tax filing date for next year as budgets will be announced in early October from now on.

Mr Noonan said that he wanted the country to enter back into the markets as soon as possible and indicated that this could be as soon as next year.

The coming budget he added will not be easy, but said that this should be the end.

“Whether it’s the lesser or the greater, they’re all tough- that much expenditure cuts and tax increases – is a tough budget, but this should be the last of them”.

Minister Noonan was speaking at the launch of Walk for Life, a fundraising event that is expected to raise thousands of euro for Milford Hospice. The event is the brainchild of RTÉ commentator Martin Kiely who is calling on parishes around the city and county to join in to fundraising campaign and “Walk for Life” on October 19.