Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (124)

John Lahart


124. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Finance when the transfer of funds to the rainy day fund will commence; and when the intended €500 million will be transferred into same in the event of an orderly Brexit. [44415/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I commenced the National Surplus (Exceptional Contingencies) Reserve Fund (the Rainy Day Fund) on Thursday 31 October 2019. On foot of commencement and the necessary Delegation Order to the NTMA regarding the management of the Fund, I am directing the NTMA to transfer €1.5 billion from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) by 30 November 2019.

In preparing Budget 2020, I set out that a disorderly Brexit was the baseline scenario for budget planning purposes, and therefore a budget deficit is in prospect. On that basis, I decided that there would be no transfer of €500 million from the Exchequer in 2019 to the Rainy Day Fund. In terms of any change in this approach, I await developments in the Brexit process.

As I have previously set out, the funds transferred to the Rainy Day Fund can be deployed in the event that the economic impact of a disorderly Brexit is larger than assumed. The €500 million of Exchequer funding not being transferred to the Rainy Day Fund this year will remain as Exchequer cash balances and therefore will be used to meet the Exchequer funding requirement, such as for public spending priorities.