Wednesday 7 December 2016

FG TDs are keen for 'party stamp' on Budget

Published 14/09/2016 | 02:30

Paschal Donohoe Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Paschal Donohoe Photo: Douglas O'Connor

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe will today warn ministers that the Budget demands submitted to his department far exceed the funds available.

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Ministers will be told that proposals submitted for 2017 may have to be significantly scaled down or delayed.

He is expected to say that the impact of 'Brexit' means the Government must be more prudent in the next number of budgets. The Public Expenditure Minister will today present an outline of his spending plans for next year, which will form half of Budget 2017.

Mr Donohoe and Finance Minister Michael Noonan briefed Fine Gael TDs and Senators over the party's two-day think-in in Newbridge. Each minister outlined progress so far on the Budget package which will be unveiled on Tuesday, October 11, and they sought suggestions on both taxation and spending. The FG members stressed the need for reform to the Inheritance Taxation regime.

Thresholds

They argued that thresholds, especially for property, are too low given the property market pick-up, and that rates remain punitively high.

Party chairman Martin Heydon said the two ministers said they would hear members' representations in the coming weeks.

The Fiscal Advisory Council has said the amount of money available for tax cuts and spending increases over the coming years is about €5bn lower than current estimates, if inflation and the cost of an ageing population are taken into account.

In the Summer Economic Statement, published in June, the Government said the amount of available so-called fiscal space out to 2021 totalled €11.3bn.

But the State's budgetary watchdog told TDs yesterday that about €4.1bn had to be taken away from that to cater for inflation, and about another €600m for demographic pressures. That brings the figure down to about €6.6bn.

Irish Independent

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