Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Deal 'will not ease cuts burden'

Enda Kenny says the Government is aiming for the end of the year to finalise agreement with the EU over its bank debts
Enda Kenny says the Government is aiming for the end of the year to finalise agreement with the EU over its bank debts

The bank debt deal secured by European Union leaders will not ease the burden of cuts and tax hikes in the budget, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has confirmed.

Backing Finance Minister Michael Noonan's assessment, the Taoiseach said the knock-on effect of severing the link between bank losses and states will not be felt until future years.

"For this particular budget 2013, this decision will not make any appreciable difference," he said.

"Not for this budget certainly, but for the future, the negotiations that will be entered into will be important.

"People say to me 'what figure are you talking about?' I don't have a bottom line here. I do have a top line, and that is the maximum benefit for the people of our country."

Mr Kenny also confirmed that the Government was aiming for the end of the year to finalise agreement with the European Union on substantial reductions in the 60 billion euro bank debts currently lumped into sovereign debt.

It has already been suggested that the deal needs to be agreed by the end of October.

The first round of talks begins among EU finance ministers in Brussels next Monday.

The Taoiseach said the deal struck in the early hours of last Friday should be seen as a diplomatic win and not a financial win.

"It's not a case of anybody looking for credit here. I gave great credit to the Irish people for their decision on the referendum. That was credit in the bank to use a pun, for use at an opportune time," he said.

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