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Minister in warning on budget cuts


Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan

Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan

Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan

Budget cuts could run to more than three billion euro, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has warned.

At the Fianna Fail pre-Dail meeting in Galway, Mr Lenihan said the Government would have to be relentless in securing the savings achieved last year.

The minister warned there was scope to increase the figure if needed for stability and economic growth.

"The figure of three billion euro is a minimum but again the Government will have to go through the different departments," he said.

"We have to look at what can be saved and what the current position is."

The minister last week revealed the Government had already pencilled one billion of savings to be announced on December 7.

Mr Lenihan also criticised remarks by Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny who predicted it would take 10 years to fix the economy.

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"Ten years to fix the economy? It's a very long time," said Mr Lenihan.

"I've certainly had plenty of difficulties in the last two years, I don't deny that, we've had difficulties with our forecasts, I don't deny that.

"But certainly if given the chance, I'll have this problem sorted out and this Government will have this problem sorted out a lot earlier than 10 years."

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