Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan revealed the government is considering cutting income tax for some groups in 2015 or 2016 in an effort to grow the economy and boost job creation, as Ireland prepares to exit the bailout programme on December 15.

Pointing to positive signs in the Irish economy, Noonan told The Irish Times that creating new jobs was the government’s “absolute priority”, but refused to be drawn on details of any such tax cut.

He also criticised unnamed figures within the EU-IMF-ECB troika for for a lack of wisdom in their handling of the rescue and complained that former European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet’s uncompromising approach had made his role as finance minister more difficult.