Spring Statement set to be delayed until April 28
The Government's much anticipated Spring Statement on the economy is to be delayed by a week until April 28th, the Sunday Independent has been told.
The finance statement, which will be an attempt by Fine Gael and Labour to set out their budgetary strategy beyond the general election, is being delayed because of a need to give adequate space for them to launch their new mortgage arrears plan.
Sources on both sides of the Coalition have confirmed that the announcement which had been pencilled in for April 21 will now not happen until the following week.
"There is a feeling that the two events would overlap and it has been considered prudent to push back the Spring Statement by a week," said one senior Labour source.
One senior minister, speaking to the Sunday Independent, said while Mr Noonan is set to lay out a broad tax agenda for the next five years, there is increased speculation that Mr Howlin will take the opportunity to elaborate on his plans for public sector pay.
"We know Noonan will talk of reducing tax on work, maybe talk about the USC, Noonan can talk about all that. But Howlin can talk about pay. That will probably be the first signal or shots of that issue [pay]," the minister said.
Before it reveals the contents of the statement, the Government is to announce a major suite of measures to tackle the vexed issue of 35,000 people who have been in mortgage arrears for more than 2 years. One senior minister said a cluster of people who have refused to engage with banks will be forced to engage or lose their home.