Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (214)

Pearse Doherty


214. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the reason a discrepancy exists in the statement of the general Government balance between table 6 on page 27 of the summer economic statement, in which the nominal general Government balance is listed as €1.4 billion, and the stability programme update 2019 which states the general Government balance as €1.235 billion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28148/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

My Department produces a full set of economic and fiscal forecasts on a bi-annual basis, in the spring Stability Programme Update (SPU) and in the autumn Budget.

The scenarios outlined in the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2019 are based on the forecasts set out in the SPU published in April, at which time a general government surplus of 0.4 per cent of GDP, or, in nominal terms, €1.235 billion was projected for next year. The tables set out in the SES are calculated from a high level, aggregate approach, rather than the granular, 'bottom-up' detail of the bi-annual forecasts, intended to provide an illustration of the fiscal parameters for the preparation of Budget 2020. The figure of 0.4 per cent of GDP was stated incorrectly as €1.4 billion in presenting the fiscal baseline in the hypothetical 'orderly Brexit' scenario presented in the Statement.

The official projection for the 2020 general government balance is that set out in the SPU - €1.235 billion.

The economic and fiscal forecasts will be updated in full as part of Budget 2020 in October.