Howlin 'surprised' by Ireland's speedy economic recovery

Howlin 'surprised' by Ireland's speedy economic recovery

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has admitted he is surprised at the speed of Ireland's economic recovery.

Brendan Howlin was speaking after the Department of Finance said it expected the economy to grow by 6.2% this year.

It has also released the Exchequer figures for the first three quarters of the year, showing the public finances are €4bn better off than a year ago.

Minister Howlin admits the current rate of growth could not have been predicted

“We would have, I suppose, given our right arm some years ago for a projected growth rate of 6.2% by 2015,” Minister Howlin said.

“When we set out on the journey four and a half years ago we were picking up the bits of a broken economy we certainly weren’t expecting things to work as well as they have done in terms of the speed of the recovery.”

Howlin 'surprised' by Ireland's speedy economic recovery

But Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said the latest Exchequer Returns will not mean a giveaway Budget in two weeks' time.

The figures show almost every tax category is ahead of expectations, with a major surge in corporation tax.

The Finance Minister has said the figures are welcome, but the tax cuts in the Budget should not be seen as a giveaway.

“In reducing personal taxes we are hoping that extra women will go back to work and we are hoping that a lot of young migrants will come home,” Minister Noonan said.

“By doing that, it is not a giveaway in the sense that is often described, it is a measure to grow the size of the economy by bringing key workers back in.”

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