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VAT hikes held back, pledges Noonan

VAT hikes won't come into effect until the New Year, the Minister for Finance has pledged.

Michael Noonan said the increase from 21 to 23pc will not be implemented on Budget night, as has been the norm. And he said the Government wouldn't push the standard rate past the 23pc mark during its tenure.

Mr Noonan was addressing the American Chamber of Commerce in Dublin yesterday and tipped his hat to the US as the single biggest source of foreign direct investment in Ireland - employing 100,000 people directly.