Written Answers - Exchequer Borrowing.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 678 No. 4

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  57.  Deputy Emmet Stagg  Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan   the forecast Exchequer borrowing requirement for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; the position regarding discussions he or his Department officials have had with the EU institutions with regard to the deficit procedure to which Ireland is subject; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12322/09]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  The latest published forecast for the Exchequer borrowing requirement (EBR) and the General Government Balance (GGB -the relevant measure for the Stability and Growth Pact), were set out in the Addendum to the Irish Stability Programme Update. This was submitted to the European Commission in January 2009 and the relevant details are as follows:

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
€m €m €m €m €m €m
EBR -12,714 -17,980 -16,860 -13,769 -11,583 -8,081
GGB -11,796 -17,165 -16,271 -12,092 -9,443 -5,537
% GDP -6.3% -9.5% -9.0% -6.4% -4.8% -2.6%

In the context of the supplementary budgetary measures to be announced on Tuesday, 7th April my Department will be publishing revised projections.

On foot of its report on Ireland’s budgetary position last month, under Article 104 of the Treaty which governs the operation of the excessive deficit procedure of the Stability and Growth Pact, the Commission has now adopted proposals for a Council recommendation to Ireland. This is part of the normal operation of the Pact whenever the General Government Deficit of a Member State exceeds the reference value of 3% of GDP as did that of Ireland and of a number of other Member States in 2008.

The proposed recommendation invites Ireland to reduce the deficit below 3% of GDP by 2013. This is in line with the Government’s budgetary strategy.

Following a meeting of the EU’s Economic and Financial Committee on 26th and 27th March which is being is attended by officials of my Department, the proposed Council recommendation will be among those considered by the Ecofin Council next month. As is normal in these circumstances, I have been in regular contact with the Commission and with my European colleagues with regard to the position of the public finances.

Council recommendations are intended to support and encourage the Member State(s) concerned in its pursuit of necessary, if difficult, budgetary measures to reduce the deficit below 3% of GDP in a timeframe taking account of the economic background.

I look forward to the support of the Commission and Council for the overall budgetary strategy of restoring stability to the public finances, while taking steps also to maximise short-term economic activity and employment and improve competitiveness.

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