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Flaherty has no plans to leave Finance in next cabinet shuffle

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is taking pre-emptive action to squelch any speculation he may be preparing to depart in the next cabinet shuffle.

The minister’s chief spokesman, Dan Miles, says there is no question Flaherty is committed to staying until the budget is balanced in 2015.

Miles says he had lunch with his boss on Saturday and was told in no uncertain terms that Flaherty wants to continue as finance minister if Prime Minister Stephen Harper wishes him to continue.

Flaherty has made the commitment numerous times in the past, but rumours persist in part because of his longevity in the position and because of ill health.

The minister has a serious skin disorder than has required him to take steroids, which have in turn caused swelling of his neck and face.

Miles says Flaherty has told him he has been feeling better of late.

Harper is widely believed to be preparing for a major cabinet shuffle during the summer to put in place the team he will take into the next federal election in 2015.

Flaherty has not given him any commitments beyond the balanced budget timetable, said Miles.