Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath TD has called on Minister Michael Noonan to clarify the exact extent of the budget adjustment being brought in by Budget 2014. His call comes following the emergence of a reference within the Budgetary small print to additional savings bringing the total adjustment to €3.1 Billion.
Contained in the small print of Page C 14 of Budget 2014 is the following reference: “€0.6 Billion of the budgetary adjustment comes from additional resources and savings elsewhere. Adding all of these to the €1.85 Billion in new policy measures outlined above gives a total adjustment package of €3.1 Billion in 2014.”
Deputy McGrath commented, “Much of the media comment and analysis in advance of this year’s budget centred on an alleged struggle between different factions of government about the size of the adjustment within Budget 2014.
“The emergence of this note within the small print of the budget should be seen in that context and raises an important question. Specifically, I would like the Minister for Finance to explain what the reference to ‘additional savings and resources’ of some €600 Million means, and to confirm whether the note’s reference to a total adjustment package of €3.1 Billion in 2014 is accurate.
“The Minister should give this reassurance as soon as possible to avoid any sense emerging that people have been misled with much publicised claims that the adjustment was reduced to €2.5 Billion.”