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People will have confidence in Budget despite embarrassing Cabinet row - junior minister


Simon Harris: public unsettled.

Simon Harris: public unsettled.

Simon Harris: public unsettled.

Junior Finance Minister Simon Harris has insisted people still have confidence in the Budget process despite the embarrassing Cabinet row between Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

Mr Harris was commenting after Mr Kenny gave Mr Varadkar a public dressing-down for discussing his department’s finance during a radio interview.

Mr Kenny told Mr Varadkar he should stop giving him “endless” reasons for not getting things done and concentrate on achieving the Government’s goals in the Department of Health.

Mr Harris said it was “normal” for ministers to seek the best Budget for their departments but said the decisions will be made by Cabinet.

“It is quite normal for a minister to seek the best budget for their department but the Cabinet as collective of Fine Gael and Labour in Government will do everything they can to deliver a budget that continues to control expenditure and do everything we can to cement economic recovery,” he said.

“I think people have confidence in the budgetary process as a whole because people are beginning to see signs of economic recovery," he added.

"We are engaging in a budget process, we have five weeks to go until the budget, so Cabinet has a huge body of work to do in those weeks.”

Mr Harris noted the country is still borrowing €800m a month but said it was positive that people are now talking about lowering taxes and spending money.

Mr Harris said it was too early to say what implications the Budget would have on people's pay packets.  However, he said thanks to the “work of the Irish people” there is now more room for flexibility in the country’s finances.

Online Editors