Belfast Telegraph

Taoiseach issues pledge on taxes

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has signalled that his commitment not to hike taxes in the Budget must first be signed-off by Europe and the IMF.

Mr Kenny had made the pledge on the 100th day anniversary of the Government, while Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore promised there would be no cuts to social welfare.

But the Taoiseach said the bailout deal had committed the Government to 250 million euro in income tax each year for the next three years

"This is a matter that has to be renegotiated by the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure with the Troika," Mr Kenny said.

Inspectors from the IMF and EU are due back in Ireland in October ahead of December's budget to review the state's books and examine if the targets under the bailout deal are being met.

In the Dail, Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said the Taoiseach was "well aware" of the commitments made in the four-year plan thrashed out by the previous Fianna Fail/Green government.

"You've been trumpeting since you came to office your capacity to make changes, your capacity to make choices, to change this aspect of the agreement, or some other aspect of the agreement, Mr Martin said.

"Your response is noteworthy by the lack of clarity, the lack of any specific commitment."

Mr Martin asked if the Taoiseach would stand by his commitments on tax and social welfare.

But the Taoiseach hit back, claiming it was now trying to renegotiate the commitments made by the Fianna Fail/Green Government in its "panic and desperation".

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