Ireland must save more than 11 bln eur by 2014-report

DUBLIN, Oct 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Ireland’s finance department has
told opposition parties it must find savings of over 11 billion
euros ($15.29 billion) during the next four years, not the 7.5
billion previously envisaged, the Irish Times reported on
Tuesday.

Senior finance officials briefed opposition parties on
Monday as Ireland looks to find some sort of consensus on a
four-year budget plan due next month that will detail how it
will tackle the worst budget deficit in the European Union.

The Irish Times said opposition sources indicated that the
overall savings would top 11 billion euros while the Irish
Independent newspaper said that figure could reach 15 billion in
a worst case scenario, quoting unnamed sources.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has already said he must find
savings “well above” the 3 billion euro previously earmarked for
December’s budget for 2011 as the economy looks set to grow at a
slower rate than his department forecasted.

Ireland’s opposition agree that Dublin needs to get its
budget deficit — set to blow out to an eye-watering 32 percent
of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year — back to below an EU
limit of 3 percent by 2014.

“The figure of adjustment published in the government plans
was 7.5 billion euros. With lower growth rates projected, the
level of adjustment is going to be significantly higher than
that,” Michael Noonan, finance spokesman for opposition party
Fine Gael, told reporters on Monday.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Patrick Graham)

Ireland must save more than 11 bln eur by 2014-report