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Brussels, 4 November 2010

Commission welcomes the renewed commitment by Irish authorities to put public finances on a sustainable path

The Commission takes note of the "information note on the economic and budgetary outlook for 2011-14" published today by the Irish Department of Finance.

The European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn, said: "I welcome the continued commitment to reducing the deficit to below 3% by 2014. This provides an important anchor for financial markets and also underlines the Irish authorities' commitment to putting public debt on a sustainable downward path in the near future. Difficult but necessary policy choices are still to be made as regards the measures needed to reach this objective. In this context, a 2011 budget involving a consolidation effort of €6 billion, as indicated in the note, would be appropriate, as it would strike a balance between allowing the recovery to strengthen and addressing budgetary challenges in a timely and frontloaded fashion."

The Commission also welcomes the authorities' intention to accompany their budgetary plan by ambitious structural reforms. Indeed strong growth and employment enhancing reforms are needed to properly underpin the authorities' fiscal adjustment strategy.

The concrete measures supporting the fiscal consolidation should limit the negative impact on growth, private sector employment and financial stability.

Commissioner Rehn is looking forward to discussing further details of the Irish Government's four-year budgetary plan in his visit to Ireland early next week. During his stay in Dublin, he will also discuss the economic situation and the challenges to the Irish economy and citizens with representatives of Irish political parties, the social partners and the Central Bank.

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