Ireland’s government is preparing to soften its line on austerity in Tuesday’s budget, despite warnings from inside and outside the country that it would be better to stick to its targets.
Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny triumphantly declared an end to the “era of the bailout” on Saturday. He said Ireland will become the first euro zone country to finish its bailout in mid-December and it may even do so without a financing backstop from the rest of Europe.
Not everyone is as confident about Ireland’s economic future as him.
The government has already put forward its budget to the troika of international creditors — the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its fellow euro nations and the European Central Bank. It is planning to put through 2.5 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of tax hikes and spending cuts, rather than the planned $3.1 billion, according to Arthur Spring, a member of the coalition government.
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