Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (69)

Pa Daly

Ceist:

69. Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Finance the impact Covid-19 has had on the fiscal position of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26343/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on our public finances. As a direct result of taking the necessary measures to support our economy and our health service, we have seen our fiscal position deteriorate sharply from a budget surplus last year to a very significant deficit now in prospect.

As of end-August, the Exchequer deficit stood at nearly €9.5 billion, reflecting the unprecedented level of Government intervention in the economy throughout this crisis. To date, fiscal support in response to the pandemic amounts to approximately €24.5 billion.

Preparation for Budget 2021 is currently underway. As I announced on September 16th, we will take the cautious and sensible approach of framing the Budget on the assumption of a ‘no trade agreement' Brexit scenario. Budget 2021 will continue counter-cyclical support for the economy in the short term, while targeting an improvement in the headline fiscal position.

It is essential that Ireland's fiscal position remains in line with that of other EU member states and that we do not become an outlier. The reason that we have been able to intervene on the scale that we have, is because of the work we have done over recent years to place the public finances on a sustainable trajectory.