Belfast Telegraph

Government agrees 1bn euro cuts

The Government has agreed one billion euro of the three billion euro cuts to be announced in the Budget on December 7, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has revealed.

With a decision on the future of toxic lender Anglo Irish Bank due in weeks, Mr Lenihan said Budget 2011 would also be about building confidence in the Irish economy.

"The figure agreed and indicated is three billion euro. The Government has already pencilled in one billion euro of that," he said.

"The Budget will not just be about the public finances although clearly the public finances are a very important part of it ... but in addition to that the Budget will contain measures to boost the economy," he added.

The Minister, who has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer this year, also revealed the course of treatment was completed in June.

He said he was feeling more energetic and had climbed a number of mountains around the country during the summer break.

"It has stabilised the cancer for the present. Of course when you have a cancer you are always at risk, but it has stabilised the cancer for the present," he said.

"My energy levels, I have to say, are much better, so I'm in a good position to get on with the important decisions that have to be taken in this country in the next few months.

"It (the cancer) has improved somewhat but of course like all cancers it's still there, it has not gone away. It is there but it is not an immediate or clear or present danger to me."

Mr Lenihan told RTE Radio his doctors have advised that there is not likely to be any more intensive treatment this year.

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