Deering welcomes Fiscal Advisory Councils’ second report.

3rd April, 2012


Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has  welcomed  today’s  second  Fiscal Assessment Report from the Fiscal Advisory Council.In particular, I welcome the Council’s view that the Department of Finance’s macro-economic forecasts set out in Budget 2012 were broadly appropriate at that time.

As  the Council rightly point out, there have been a number of developments  both domestically and internationally since the Budget was published,  which  could  affect  the  economic  outturn  in 2012.  The Department  of  Finance  will  take  these  into account, along with the latest  available  data,  when  updating  its economic forecasts for the Stability  Programme Update. This will be published later this month. In  this regard today’s report is a timely addition.  I  note  the  councils  warning that a further €400 million of fiscal  measures  may be necessary to meet the deficit target of 8.6% of GDP in 2012.

The  exchequer  returns  for  Q1 will be released at 4.30 this afternoon  and  the Returns will give the most up to date information on the Fiscal position and adherence to Budget targets in 2012. It  is  of  course  extremely  important that we adhere to the deficit  targets  which  have  been  set  out  in the Budget and that we restore sustainability to the public finances as soon as possible. In this context, we have entered 2012 with our tax base growing and  our  expenditure consolidation on track. In fact the 2011 exchequer deficit  was €300m better that forecast at Budget time and this point is acknowledged by the Council.

The  Department  of Finance will of course continue to monitor emerging  economic and fiscal developments throughout the year. However, the  exchequer figures for first two months of the year have highlighted the  robust  nature of the budgetary arithmetic and we are track to meet the  8.6%  target  in  2012.  Today’s  Quarter  1  release will give the clearest indication of fiscal position in 2012.