Pascal Donohoe has admitted he could have done more in today's Budget, but said he wanted to avoid the mistakes of the past.
The Finance Minister has announced the highest ever spending on health and education with extra teachers, nurses and gardaí to be hired.
There are modest income tax cuts, a sugar tax on fizzy drinks and cigarettes are to increase by 50c for a packet of 20.
Minister Donohoe also defended the €5 increase for those on social welfare.
He said: "We could have set it at €50 a week, but then I'd hit the Budget next year and find I'm in a position where we can’t actually afford it.
"I not going to go down that route again. I want an economy that's more resilient. I want people at home feeling more secure about their personal financial futures.
"The way you do it through taxation is step by step (and) that's what we're doing today."