Government confirms €6bn cuts in coming Budget
The Government said tonight that it will impose a drastic €6bn cost-cutting Budget next month in the latest attempt to restore the nation's crippled finances.
In an unprecedented move, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan unveiled the staggering scale of savings needed - up to €16bn over the next four years in a bid to revive international confidence.
The pre-Budget outlook forecast that there will be economic growth of 1.75pc next year.
Mr Lenihan said the majority of the cost-saving measures would be frontloaded over the next 13 months.
"By the end of 2011 we will have implemented over two-thirds of the overall adjustment and we will be on the path toward renewed budgetary sustainability," he said.
Mr Lenihan revealed that the savings over the next four years stretch to €3-4bn in 2012, €3-3.5bn in 2013 and €2-2.5bn in 2014.
The figures for the total timeframe are about double what had been forecast a year ago.
The Government's pre-Budget outlook said it hoped to raise three times as much money next year through cutting spending than increasing taxes.
Mr Lenihan added: "I want to stress again the strength of the Government's resolve to return the country to a sustainable fiscal position. I am well aware that such measures will impact on the living standards of everybody.
"But our spending and revenues must be more closely aligned. This is the only way to ensure the future economic well-being of our society."