Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (56)

Michael McGrath

Question:

56. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 52 of 14 November 2019, when he will propose to Dáil Éireann that he will not invest €500 million into the rainy day fund in accordance with section 6 of the National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52392/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Deputy is correct that under Section 6 of the National Surplus (Reserve Fund for Exceptional Contingencies) Act 2019, in any given year, the Minister for Finance may make a proposal to the Dáil not to transfer the annual €500m contribution into the National Surplus (Exceptional Contingencies) Reserve Fund.

Given that a disorderly Brexit was the baseline scenario for Budget 2020, on Budget Day, 8 October 2019, I announced my intention not to transfer the €500 million from the Exchequer to the National Surplus (Exceptional Contingencies) Reserve Fund in 2019.

By reason of the exceptional circumstances posed by the UK’s proposed withdrawal from the European Union, I am still satisfied that the making of the payment would place an undue burden on the public finances.

Therefore, I have proposed a Motion seeking a Dáil Resolution not to pay the prescribed annual contribution into the Fund in 2019. I have been advised that this motion will be listed for debate in the Dáil Schedule for Wednesday, 18 December next.