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Encouragement for both the Irish Government and the Central Bank has come from the IMF in its annual review of the Irish economy, published in mid August.

While reiterating widespread international concerns about overheating in the Irish economy the IMF’s executive directors say that the Government should honour its commitments to tax cuts in the 2001 budget.

The report says ‘the Directors also consider it desirable that the authorities implement expeditiously their plan to implement a single supervisory agency.’

‘Directors welcomed the Government’s plans to increase public sector outlays aimed at addressing infrastructure bottlenecks under the 2000 to 2006 National Development Plan, to pursue further tax reforms aimed at encouraging increased labour force participation, and to foster greater competition through deregulation and privatisation,’ the report says.

However the report warns ‘While the commitment to further moderate tax cuts under the national wage agreement should be respected pressures for larger tax reductions should be resisted because such reductions would add to rather than ease the risks of overheating in the near term.’

Strong praise is also forthcoming in the report for the state of regulation of the Irish financial services sector. ‘The overall framework of prudential regulation as a position is well developed with a high degree of observance of international standards and codes.’

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