Tuesday, September 11 07:42:35
The IMF's mission chief for Ireland Craig Beaumont said it was very important that European authorities move ahead with using the the new bailout fund the ESM to buy equity stakes in Irish banks, as a means of helping to support economic growth. But the IMF also said that Ireland still has a long way to go to bring down its budget deficit, and advises against increasing income taxes, as this could damage economic growth. Instead it suggests a much higher rate of residential property tax - 0.5pc - than that suggested by the commission on taxation. This higher rate was ruled out yesterday evening by Mr Noonan in a radio interview.
It also suggests money can be quickly saved by better targeting of social supports, such as taxing child benefit, and a reduction in state pensions - for example closing out the 5pc differential between contributory and non-contributory pensions. It also suggests changing the way third level education is funded, linking college fees to the costs and earnings potential of particular courses, and by tailoring course availability to skills shortages in the economy. It also suggests areas of reform in the health budget, such as limits on overtime, and greater use of primary care and generic drugs.