AFTER five difficult budgets, it would be naive to think next month's budget will be any easier, Public Expenditure and reform minister Brendan howlin said.
At the Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society lunch, the minister said there are no easy decisions left in tax or public spending.
He said he favoured doing less than the €3.1bn adjustment.
"My own perspective is that I would like to see a lower consolidation this year to allow economic recovery gather pace", he said.
" That goal does of course have to be set against our key national objective to exit our support programme this year
"Nor is it anyway inconsistent I believe with meeting our budgetary target of 5.1pc for 2014 and a deficit lower than that for the following year"
He said the budget would be as fair and job friendly as possible.
Add: Mr Howlin said government will publish medium term economic plan by end of the year