Cabinet meets for final briefing before Budget Day

The Cabinet meets today to finalise details of Budget 2010.

The Finance Minister plans to find €4bn of spending cuts amid threats of increased public sector industrial action in the months to come.

Reductions in public sector pay, welfare payments and cuts to the Health and Education budgets are expected to deliver the large part of Brian Lenihan's savings strategy.

According to reports today, pay cuts for the country's 315,000 public servants will be varied according to salary, from just below 4% for the lowest earners, to 15%-20% for the highest earners.

There are also indications that there will be few changes in the tax section of the Budget, other than the introduction of the carbon tax, which will lead to increases in fuel prices.

It is expected the Cabinet will also be briefed on the implications of a strike by gardaí. Rank and file gardaí are to be balloted for strike by the Garda Representative Association over planned pay cuts despite being banned from taking industrial action.

The Attorney General has already briefed the Minister for Justice on the options open to the Government if the gardai go on strike - and today other Ministers will recieve that advice.


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