October 12, 2016 / 9:42 AM / 9 months ago

Irish finance minister says budget not in breach of EU rules

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Ireland's Minister for Finance Michael Noonan gestures on the steps of Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland October 11, 2016.Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's 2017 budget is in line with European Union fiscal rules, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Wednesday after the country's independent fiscal watchdog said it believed the rules had been breached.

The head of the Fiscal Advisory Council earlier on Wednesday said the budget would cut the country's structural deficit by less than the minimum required by the EU and that it had breached expenditure growth rules.

Asked if the budget was in breach of EU rules, Noonan told state radio RTE it was not. "We know that there isn't going to be any fines or any reprimand or anything like that. They (the EU) understand the arithmetic," Noonan said.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Toby Chopra

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