Michael Noonan rules out income tax increase
Finance Minister Michael Noonan said there seems to be some budgetary leeway and the Government has three options - stick to the targets, ease up or invest in the economy.
Mr Noonan again ruled out higher income tax. He told reporters in Dublin this morning that avoiding higher income tax rates can help competitiveness.
The Finance Minister added that later today Government departments will get rough details of their spending targets for next year.
He said the targets won’t set out details. “It’ll set out the dimensions of the pitch on which the game will be played,” he added.
The Finance Minister said he will wait and see what his UK counterpart George Osborne says this evening on the future of Ulster Bank parent Royal Bank of Scotland.
Mr Noonan said that he didn’t raise Ulster Bank in a recent phone call with Mr Osborne. There are fears about the future of Ulster Bank following the resignation of chief executive Stephen Hester.
The UK chancellor of the Exchequer is due to make a long-awaited speech on the future of RBS this evening.
Mr Noonan added that he expects Ecofin ministers to approve directive on sales tax avoidance when they meet tomorrow in Luxembourg.