Michael Noonan: 'I am absolutely certain general election will be next year'
FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan said it is “absolutely certain” that the General Election will be next year.
Mr Noonan last week said there is two windows for an election – before and after Christmas.
But on Sunday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said his preference for an election is next year.
However, there was some speculation that Mr Kenny would leave the door open to hold a snap election in November.
Speaking alongside Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin at Budget press conference, Mr Noonan said it is now clear there will not be an election called this year.
“The Taoiseach closed the window there on Sunday in his interview so you can be absolutely certain there is no election between now and Christmas,” the minster said.
“Both Brendan and I have a lot of work to do,” he added
He pointed to the Finance Bill, which will not be passed until December 1, along with the Social Welfare Bill and the unwinding FEMPI legislation which imposed pay cuts on public sector workers.
Mr Noonan also apologised to Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty for leaving during his contribution to the Budget debate.