Sunday 25 September 2016

GDP surge means we could end up paying €400m more to the EU

Published 18/07/2016 | 02:30

The country's contribution to the EU budget is set to grow significantly next year (Stock picture)
The country's contribution to the EU budget is set to grow significantly next year (Stock picture)

Fianna Fáil has called on the Department of Finance to clarify the amount Ireland must pay to the EU budget in the wake of last week's misleading economic growth figures.

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The country's contribution to the EU budget is set to grow significantly next year.

Economist Dermot O'Leary of Goodbody Stockbrokers estimated the bill could be up to €400m more than expected. This could impact domestic expenditure and future tax cuts.

Last week the CSO announced revised findings for economic growth, stating that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had climbed by 26pc.

The findings suggested Ireland's economy in 2015 grew at the fastest pace on record for any country in the OECD.

But the surge is mostly explained by the open Irish economy and its use as a base for international companies.

The CSO's findings will, however, mean Ireland has to contribute more to the EU budget next year, the Department of Finance has confirmed.

A spokesman added: "The final impact on our EU Budget contributions will depend on a number of variables including the size of the overall EU Budget for 2017, which is not due to be agreed until November and on GNI movements in other member states."

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath called for clarity. He said: "I am very concerned at reports that Ireland will have to pay an extra €400m to the EU on account of the incredible and unexpected spike in the GDP figures released by the CSO.

"Fianna Fail has asked the Department of Finance to clarify if this estimate is accurate and what impact, if any, it will have on October's Budget."

He said the impact of Brexit also needed consideration.

Irish Independent

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