Thanks to Alan Shatter, the justice minister, we also know that the Government plans to take some money from its own pockets as well. In a heated government exchange last week the minister unexpectedly revealed he’s planning to shave 15.7%, or €340m, from his department’s budget over the next three years, according to the front page story in the Sunday Times.

If Shatter’s targets are replicated across all departments it could lead to cuts of €2.5billion next year, tax increases and similar spending reductions in 2013 and 2014 says the newspaper.

Government spokesmen threw cold water on the speculation saying that the minister was either referring to the 15% and 20% departmental draft savings options requested by secretary general Robert Watt in June or referencing the previous Government’s national recovery plan that outlined cuts for €370m between 2011 and 2014 for that department.

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