The chairman of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has denied being put back in his box by the Department of Finance, and said the bigger issue was why the spending watchdog did not have access to all the information surrounding the budget deficit.
Yesterday, John McHale said the Government was obliged to cut the underlying structural deficit in the public finances by more than what was set out in the Budget.
But he was forced to issue a clarification after the Department of Finance revealed it had reached a separate deal on the deficit with the European Commission earlier this year.
Today, John McHale said there has been no violation of the council's independence, but raised questions about why he did not have all the information in the first place and said he only heard from the Department of Finance after his comments yesterday.
"I did receive communication from the Department of Finance giving me the fiull information…(but) why didn’t we have access to the information in advance?"