Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (140)

Michael McGrath


140. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if there are restrictions on the way in which Departments can spend funds to be withdrawn from the rainy day fund as envisaged in the legislation going through Dáil Éireann; if the restrictions are in domestic fiscal rules or EU fiscal rules; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25197/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Withdrawals from the fund as provided for under the National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Bill 2018 will be to the Exchequer and any expenditures will be subject to the normal public financial procedures.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act 2012 imposes a duty on the Government to endeavour to comply with the fiscal rules. The National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Bill 2018 does not amend or change this obligation.

Once established, the Rainy Day Fund will be bound by both EU and domestic fiscal rules such as the expenditure benchmark and the debt rule and deposits into and withdrawals from the fund must comply with these rules.

Separately, the existing fiscal rules allow for the impact of one-off measures to be corrected for under the structural balance and the complementary expenditure benchmark pillar. These issues would need to be fully teased out with the Commission to assess compliance with the rules.