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Pressure mounts to reveal Budget bad news

THE Government will come under mounting pressure today to reveal whether the Budget is going to be even worse than expected.

The Department of Finance is expected the cut economic growth for next year from 2.4pc to 1.5pc in its Medium Term Fiscal Statement.

Economists calculate that a reduction on this scale could reduce revenues from taxation by around €200m.

In order to stay on the bailout target for Budget 2013, the Government may have to increase tax and spending cuts from the existing figure of €3.5bn.

Last week, the EU Commission produced a growth forecast of just 1.1pc.

The department has signalled it wants a tougher Budget next month to make up for lost tax revenues as a result of lower growth.

Department of Finance secretary general John Moran has said that while decisions were a matter for Cabinet, his view was the 2013 target deficit of 7.5pc of output should be met.

He warned that downward growth would lead to downward pressures on revenue and the "need to adjust accordingly".

Irish Independent