Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (177)

Michael McGrath


177. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council was consulted on the budgetary impacts of the national broadband plan. [21857/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Under the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2012, the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) has been assigned the monitoring and assessment functions required of an independent national fiscal institution under the Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. The Act requires IFAC to “provide an assessment of whether the fiscal stance for the year or years concerned is, conducive to prudent economic and budgetary management”.

In addition, as part of the Council’s so-called ‘endorsement function IFAC provides an independent assessment of the official macroeconomic forecasts of the Department of Finance, upon which the Stability Programme Update (SPU) and Budgets are based. Accordingly, the Council’s role is to assess the overall fiscal stance as well as the forecasts underpinning the SPU and Budget publications. Therefore, the impact of all government expenditure, including that on the National Broadband Plan, is assessed by the Council in this context.