Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has said the cuts being considered by the Government in advance of December's Budget are "getting closer to the bone".
The Cabinet is in Farmleigh House for its first day-long meeting to prepare for Budget 2011, with the Taoiseach Brian Cowen giving waiting media a thumbs-up as he arrived at the meeting today.
Ministers are discussing the required €3bn cuts, admitting a tough task lies ahead. Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said it was "getting more difficult" to find the cuts.
€1bn of the savings are likely to come from the capital budget. Ministers are expected to today agree a new five-year €40bn capital investment programme that is likely to see some projects shelved due to lack of funds.