Thursday, 4 July 2019

Questions (73)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

73. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the projected general Government expenditure in 2020 if he delivers a budget of €2.8 billion comprised of €1.9 billion pre-committed, €0.2 billion expenditure reserve and €0.7 billion additional discretionary spending as outlined in the Summer Economic Statement; and the percentage increase in expenditure this constitutes since 2019. [28648/19]

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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 calculations of the available budgetary package in the Summer Economic Statement (SES) 2019 are anchored to the forecasts set out in the SPU published in April. It is important to point out that the fiscal forecast set out in the SPU publication (Table 10) incorporated an indicative budgetary package of €2.8 billion for 2020. While there are compositional changes to the €2.8 billion included in the SES, it should be noted that these have no impact on the headline general government balance for 2020. The official projection for the 2020 general government balance remains that set out in the SPU at 0.4% of GDP.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the €0.7 billion in unallocated resources can comprise expenditure or tax reduction. In the SES, as in the SPU, €0.6 billion has been allocated for taxation changes on a technical illustrative basis.

However, the exact amounts and distribution between revenue and expenditure is a matter for Government and will be announced at the time of Budget 2020.

In relation to the second part of the question, general government expenditure of €87.6 billion in 2020, as set out in the SPU forecast, is projected to increase by 2.6 per cent or c. €2.3 billion in year-on-year terms from 2019 to 2020, and is consistent with the SES figures outlined in the Deputy's question.