Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (84)

Gerry Adams


84. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Finance the consultations he will hold, here and with other EU countries and institutions and any others, before announcing the budget. [31873/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

As with every Budget there will be considerable consultation with a wide variety of organisations. Officials from my Department are already engaging in meetings related to Budget preparation. Meetings take place throughout the year between my officials and officials of other organisations, such as the NTMA, the Revenue Commissioners and other Government Departments, most notably the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Given that there are still more than two months to Budget Day it is difficult for me to say exactly whom I will meet personally between now and then. However the Deputy will be aware that the Minister for Finance normally meets with IBEC, ICTU, the IFA, the ICMSA, the Construction Industry Federation and the Community and Voluntary Pillar in the run-up to the Budget and I would expect these meetings to take place as usual.

The Deputy will also be aware review missions to Ireland by the three external partners, the EU, the ECB and the IMF (the troika) take place each quarter as part of the regular review process of our EU-IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland. My colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin T.D., and I meet with the EU-IMF delegation during each quarterly review mission. These meetings are also attended by senior officials from both Departments. A wide range of topics related to the progress of the Programme are covered at these meetings, including fiscal policy, financial reforms, structural reforms, and economic developments. Budget 2014 will be discussed in this context.

With regard to EU institutions, the enhanced economic governance regime now in place for euro area Member States directly impacts on national budget preparations. Regulation 473/2013, one of the ‘two pack’ surveillance and coordination regulations, provides that euro area member countries must make public their draft budget not later than 15 October each year. The Regulation further provides that euro area Member States must submit a separate draft budgetary plan, containing all of the information in the budget but in a common standardised format, to both the Commission and the Eurogroup by 15th October. Therefore, there is no obligation to submit the draft budgetary plan to the Commission or Eurogroup before the budget itself is announced but it is a matter for individual Member States to comply with the new budgetary timeline in whichever sequence they decide as long as the deadline of 15th October is respected. I intend to submit Ireland’s draft budgetary plan to the Commission following the publication of the Budget.