‘We don’t intend to use bailout’ insists Lenihan
FINANCE Minister Brian Lenihan last night said the Government intended to avoid having to dip into a bailout fund – he just can’t guarantee it.
Mr Lenihan put up a robust defence of the Irish economy and the coalition’s record in office.
“No, I don’t accept it’s the end and I don’t accept it’s decimation,” he said on BBC’s Newsnight.
“We’ve a workforce of 1.9 million – that’s twice what we had 20 years ago. We’ve a huge workforce, it’s shown huge adaptability in the present crisis.
“But the Government are not asking people to bring their living standards back 10 years. With respect, our tax receipts went back to 2003 levels, we have to increase and augment them to 2005, 2006 levels,” he said.
The minister said the country would not have to resort to a bailout from the European Union or the International Monetary Fund.
“Absolutely. We intend to return to the markets next year, and we intend to fund ourselves. That’s our plan.
We have put our public finances on a sustainable basis in the next two years.
We have done massive corrections in our public debt and our deficit and we will continue to do so,” he said.
However, when asked to give a cast-iron, 100pc guarantee the Government won’t have to resort to a bailout, Mr Lenihan was less absolute.
“Of course, nobody can give a 100pc guarantee, no state can give a 100pc guarantee on anything in the modern world,” he said