Published Sunday, 13 October 2013
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Ireland is set to exit the bailout programme. (© Getty)
Giving a speech to his party in Limerick, the Irish leader claimed the strict economic measures will soon be over with the last austerity budget due in two days.
"Tonight I can confirm that Ireland is on track to exit the EU-IMF bailout on December 15. And we won't go back," Mr Kenny said.
"It won't mean that our financial troubles are over. Yes there are still fragile times ahead.
"There's still a long way to go. But at last the era of the bailout will be no more. The economic emergency will be over."
Mr Kenny said the government would publish a new medium term economic strategy before the end of the year to plan for a "new era".
In his address at the Fine Gael conference, Mr Kenny said that the Tuesday's budget would be tough.
But he stressed that the €2.5bn worth of tax hikes and spending cuts would help reach bailout targets and encourage investment in jobs.
It is expected that there will be some good news for small business owners as both Mr Kenny and the Finance Minister Michael Noonan highlighted the need to support this section of the economy.
Government ministers are expected to discuss the finer details of the spending review on Sunday before it is signed off.
The finance minister earlier confirmed that he is to hold talks with the so-called Troika following the budget to discuss Ireland's exit from its bailout programme.
"When the budget is concluded I plan to have consultation on our exit strategy with the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank," Mr Noonan said.
"Having heard their views, I will advise the Government on the best course of action."
He indicated that Ireland may not need a European emergency backup for exiting the bailout programme as it has a backstop in place already.
Mr Kenny also announced plans for new legislation to give all university graduates a vote in the election of members of the Seanad, following last week's embarrassing defeat in a referendum on his motion to abolish the upper chamber of Parliament.
© UTV News