Written Answers. - Economic Forecasts.

Michael Ahern

Ceist:

159 Mr. M. Ahern asked the Minister for Finance the projected increase in economic activity over the next five years; the estimated increase in VAT take; the estimated increase in inflation; and the estimated increase in savings. [17017/96]

The normal practice in relation to economic and budgetary forecasting has been that at budget time each year, the forecasts for the year in question are published in Economic Background to the Budget. At mid-year these forecasts are reviewed and the results are published in Economic Review and Out-look. As I indicated in my Budget Statement on 23 January, it is my intention to begin to provide for multi-annual budgets. This will involve a three year cycle and will be based on a projection of budget day levels of expenditure programmes and tax rates based on stated economic assumptions.

I would also draw the Deputy's notice to the periodic publication by the Economic and Social Research Institute of a five year economic assessment. The institute is currently preparing a review of the economic prospects for the next five years which, I understand, will be published later this year.