Donohoe Refusing To "Add Fuel To The Fire" Ahead Of Budget
The Minister for Finance has said there will be €800m available to spend on new measures in the upcoming budget.
Paschal Donohoe is providing the first glimpse at what can be expected for Budget 2019 this afternoon.
His Summer Economic Statement outlines the general state of play ahead of the budget – including projections for growth in the economy and the numbers of people currently at work.
He said he plans to announce a budgetary package of €3.4bn in additional spending for next year - however €2.6bn of this has been earmarked for projects that have already been announced.
This leaves €800m available for additional spending.
Government will have €800m to play around with come budget time on top of previous commitments according to summer economic statement pic.twitter.com/XKIRXfKRV0— Sean Defoe (@SeanDefoe) June 19, 2018
Minister Donohoe has said that the Government is aiming to reduce Ireland's deficit to 0.1% of the country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) next year.
He insisted any spending above this limit would involve more borrowing and could allow the country's deficit to deteriorate.
Under EU fiscal rules Minister Donohoe was allowed to spend a further €900m in the budget - however he insisted that doing so would risk overheating the economy.
He said the budget will be aimed at reducing borrowing and ensuring the required economic buffers are in place to protect the economy into the future.
"It is vital that Government policy does not add fuel to the fire but that we make sensible and prudent decisions now to secure our hard-won gains and ensure the continuation of sustainable future growth."
“While the economic situation is relatively healthy at present, it is clear that the external environment is also becoming increasingly challenging. A crucial policy response is to build up our capacity to respond to these challenges...— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) June 19, 2018
... This is why the Government is prioritising reducing public debt, further working down the deficit, establishing a Rainy Day Fund and avoiding pro-cyclical budgetary policies . While there are risks ahead there are also opportunities.’— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) June 19, 2018
Earlier, Fianna Fáil warned that the budget should be focused on housing.
The party's housing spokesperson Darragh O'Brien said members will be negotiating for better public services in pre-budget talks.
"We want this to be a housing budget," he said.
"We want to show hope to people that you will be able to buy a home.
"We want to show hops to people who are homeless and the kids who are in emergency accommodation; that there is a future for them as well."
"So I think our priority should really be focusing on housing, the issues that we have had in health and focusing on services."