Friday 15 December 2017

What happens now?

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

NEW budget rules will be brought in to put the fiscal treaty into Irish law.

They will require the Government to abide by the "balanced budget" rules in the treaty -- and to take action if the targets are in danger of being missed.

The Fiscal Responsibility Bill has to be put through the Dail and Seanad before the end of September.

It will contain a commitment not to have an annual "structural deficit" of more than 0.5pc of gross national income, compared to our current annual deficit of 8.3pc.

The Government has promised that this budget target will not take effect for several years.

The bill will also require the €128bn national debt to be reduced over a 20-year period from 108pc of GDP to 60pc.

The focus next week will be on a second piece of legislation to sign up Ireland formally to the new €700bn bailout fund known as the European Stability Mechanism. This will mean that Ireland will be able to access money from the fund when its bailout programme finishes at the end of next year.

The State will also be committing to making its own initial contribution to the fund of around €1.5bn.

Irish Independent Supplement

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