Belfast Telegraph

Lenihan: No emergency budget before December

By Patricia McDonagh

The Republic's Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has ruled out an early emergency budget this year.

Mr Lenihan said yesterday that the Budget will be held in early December, but gave no precise date.

The Government has committed itself to €3bn in cuts this year, with €1bn to come from capital spending and €2bn in current spending.

However, speculation has been mounting that the Government may put forward an early budget to remedy the current blackhole in the public purse.

But Mr Lenihan yesterday dismissed the suggestion.

"There will be no additional budget this year; the Budget will be in December ... as is the usual practice," he said. Mr Lenihan also sought to take the heat off reports that the Department of Finance had warned the Government of the dangers of a property bubble in 2005.

According to briefing material prepared for the department's secretary general, Kevin Cardiff, the department warned over several years that the "over-emphasis on construction left the economy vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks".

The contents of the documents were released under the Freedom of Information Act in the same week Mr Lenihan announced an external review of the department's management of the financial crisis.

But Mr Lenihan insisted that there was nothing new in this documentation.

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