The Taoiseach Enda Kenny warned last night that the coming budget will the the toughest yet with a package of cuts and tax increases. December’s Budget will be a €3.5bn package, with €2.25bn coming from cuts, and a further €1.25bn in extra taxes.

There is also disagreement between the coalition parties on whether PRSI charges should be increased or social welfare payments reduced to cover a deficit in the social welfare fund of  €2.2bn.