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Bailed-out Ireland unveils new taxes

Finance Minister Michael Noonan unveiled a 2012 budget Tuesday that deepens charges on Irish drivers, home owners, savers, smokers, and many others.

Cathal McNaughton/Reuters
Ireland's Minister for Finance Michael Noonan poses for photographers as he holds a copy of Ireland's 2012 budget on the steps of Government Buildings ahead of his budget speech in Dublin on Dec. 6.

Ireland's government says it will impose €1 billion ($1.35 billion) in new taxes to help the bailed-out country sharply reduce its deficits as international donors expect.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan unveiled a 2012 budget Tuesday that deepens charges on Irish drivers, home owners, savers, smokers and many others.

He says Ireland's deficit will be 10.1 percent of GDP this year and 8.2 percent next year, lower than previously forecast.

It is the fifth austerity budget since Ireland's long-booming property market collapsed, pushing Dublin banks toward bankruptcy and forcing Ireland to accept EU-IMF rescue loans.

Noonan says sales tax will rise 2 points to an Irish-record 23 percent. The measure is designed to raise €670 million ($900 million) extra next year.

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