Taoiseach Enda Kenny has given the clearest suggestion yet that the next Budget could be somewhat easier than first thought.
October's Budget was due to implement €3.1bn of new taxes and spending cuts.
The IMF said that it wants the full amount, even though it will bring Ireland beyond its deficit targets.
The Taoiseach has said he is more interested in making it to the target than implementing the full package.
"Clearly, the IMF are entitled to their viewpoint, but we are set on achieving the target of a dephicit below 3% by 2015," he said.
"This is not going to be an easy Budget.
"We hope that this will be the last difficult Budget."