Party Whips agree Pre Budget debate for November 17th


Government Chief Whip Pat Carey has this evening welcomed agreement on the holding of a Pre-Budget debate next Tuesday.

The Whip said, "The debate which we have agreed this evening will allow for Ministers, Opposition Spokespersons and Deputies to share their views on what decisions should be made in the upcoming Budget.

I would hope that this will be a measured, mature, and above all, realistic, discussion on the economic options open to the Government.

In the political discussion to date, there has been general consensus in Labour and Fine Gael of the need to meet our commitment to a €4 billion reduction in this country's budget deficit.

The Government looks forward to hearing how the Opposition Parties suggest this reduction should be achieved. Although the evidence of recent statements point towards an unwillingness to be specific, next Tuesday's debate will allow members to put forward their proposals.

Along with the Pre-Budget Outlook published tomorrow, there is now a range of published reports from which the Opposition Parties can draw upon. This will ensure that their proposals are realistic in terms of achieving the deficit reduction necessary in four weeks time."