Cuts deeper than the 15 billion euro already scheduled may be needed if Ireland’s economy doesn't grow quickly enough, EU Commissioner Olli Rehn said on Monday.
As Ireland's debt crisis deepened with borrowing rates hitting a record high on international money markets, the European Union economics commissioner also insisted that taxes must rise to help stabilize finances and restore foreign confidence.
Rehn warned it was "feasible" that Ireland's 15 billion austerity package would balance the nations books, but he added that it depended on growth rates remaining on track.
"I find it is important that, at the same time, there is sufficient flexibility to take further actions if needed in case the growth scenarios will not materialise as expected," Rehn told the press, clearly indicating that further cuts might be necessary.
Rehn spoke favorably of the "formidable" strengths that remain in the Irish economy, but he argued the country would lose its low tax status and become a "normal tax country" over the next decade.
Ireland is fully funded until the middle of next year, but persistent doubts about the country’s ability to pay back its debts could halt its plans for a return to the bond markets in January.