THE State's budgetary watchdog has publicly distanced itself from the Government's 'soft' Budget after a Labour Party TD said it had endorsed the move.
Kerry North West Limerick deputy Arthur Spring told RTE's 'Prime Time' that the Fiscal Advisory Council was "okay" with the reduced Budget plan.
But the council said it firmly believed the Government should push ahead with a tougher €3.1bn in Budget cuts.
It issued a statement yesterday declaring it still believed that the Government should stick with the plan to raise €3.1bn in spending cuts and tax rises, despite Finance Minister Michael Noonan reducing it by €600m.
"The council would like to clarify its position on endorsement and assessment in light of public comments by a government representative on RTE's 'Prime Time' programme," it said.
"The council would like to stress that its assessment of the appropriate fiscal stance is unchanged.
"It has previously publicly stated that the preferred policy is to continue with the previously planned aggregate adjustment of €3.1bn in Budget 2014," it added.
Its role is to assess and comment on whether the Government is meeting its own budgetary targets and objectives.
It is also required to endorse the macroeconomic forecasts underlying the Budget – but not the budgetary projections, measures or the fiscal stance.