European Commission 'regrets' bailout report leak

The European Commission has said it "regrets" the fact that a draft edition of its latest report on Ireland's bailout progress was leaked.

The document suggests ending the automatic entitlement to a medical card for those out of work, and questions whether the dole should be cut according to how long a person has been unemployed.

The draft also indicates that Irish households will begin paying water charges in January 2014.

On the overall budget in December, the commission said the Government was in agreement that "the needed consolidation efforts, both in terms of reducing expenditure and increasing their efficiency (including by enhancing their targeting to the most vulnerable) and of raising new and stable revenue, are likely to require difficult political choices".

Click HERE for the draft copy of the latest European Commission staff review of Ireland under the bailout programme

Additional reporting by Irish Examiner political editor Paul O'Brien

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