Taoiseach Brian Cowen stated last night that the budget will not be held earlier than planned. The €15bn euro deficit reduction plan will be unveiled this afternoon. It has been reported in the irish press that included in the four-year plan will be

  • an increase in  the marginal rate of tax to 42 per cent or higher
  • tax credits being reduced and tax bands being widened
  • a cut to the minimum wage from €8.65 an hour to €7.65
  • introduction of a “local services” charge
  • cuts to the social welfare budget of €2.5bn over the four years