Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

No income tax hike promises Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Jobs Minister Richard Bruton

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has guaranteed there will be no hike in income tax in the next budget.

Repeating his past commitment, the Taoiseach refused to confirm whether calls from a senior Government minister to cut the tax would be considered, saying Cabinet had not yet discussed the budget.

"Let me say that it is part of our Programme for Government that there will not be any increase in income tax," Mr Kenny said.

"We believe this is fundamental in the context of the creation of jobs and not to put obstacles in the way of jobs being created."

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that officials had begun sending the first document outlining the parameters of the budget to different Government departments.

He joined Jobs Minister Richard Bruton in insisting there should be no increase in income tax, but unlike his Cabinet colleague, he stopped short of calling for the rates to be reduced.

The Government will announce spending cuts and tax adjustments to the tune of 3.1 billion euro for the 2014 budget on October 15.

The joint memo on the strategy and principles of the budget from Mr Noonan and Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin marks the start of four months of discussions among Government departments.

"Matters for the budget will be discussed by Cabinet in due course," Mr Kenny added.

"We have the principles and strategies set out and assessed by the Government on the production of the memo by the two ministers."