Talks on the December Irish budget which could seek up to $7.5 billion in cuts look set to go ahead with Prime Minister Brian Cowen saying he will approach the discussions in ‘good faith.’

Cowen had initially appeared to scupper the talks with his delays on ratifying the wording of a Government invitation to Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein to a talks forum, but he has now apparently swung behind the proposed talks.

He did warn, though, that agreeing on general economic targets is not the same as reaching agreement on specific actions to achieve those targets.

In the annual address at the Fianna Fail Wolfe Tone commemorations in Kildare Cowen said that this is not the time for “politics as usual.”

“The public have a right to demand that all of their elected representatives engage in a serious discussion about issues which are fundamental to the future of our country,” Cowen said.

The opposition parities also seem to be on board with the talks, with Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton saying that his party welcomed the talks and that Fine Gael was not ruling out anything in terms of necessary cuts.