Firstly, a Statement from the Government...
Government Statement following Meeting of Party Leaders on the Public Finances
Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD, Leader of Fianna Fail, and Minister for the Environment and Local Government, John Gormley TD, Leader of the Green Party, met this afternoon in Government Buildings for over two hours with Enda Kenny TD, Leader of Fine Gael and Eamon Gilmore TD, Leader of the Labour Party, to discuss the state of the public finances.
The meeting followed briefings of their respective party spokespersons by the Department of Finance earlier this week.
The Taoiseach indicated his view that it would be in the national interest that there be clarity about the countrys determination to restore fiscal stability.
The party leaders reaffirmed their commitment to addressing the deficit in the public finances with a view to reducing it to 3% of GDP by 2014.
The party leaders also welcomed the proposal that there should be a debate on the economy in Dail Eireann next week.
The Department of Finance remains available to continue their briefing of the Opposition parties and to cost any proposals which they put forward to help tackle the deficit in the public finances.
In addition, the Minister for Finance will be available to Opposition Finance Spokespersons to exchange analyses.