End of Q3 2018 shows taxes in-line with target & spending being managed within expectations – Donohoe

2nd October, 2018

  • Today’s Exchequer Returns show that tax receipts in the first nine months of 2018 are broadly on-profile and up almost €1.9 billion (5.2 per cent) year-on-year underpinned by a strong economy;
  • Gross voted expenditure is being managed within expectations, and is up 7.7 per cent in the year, reflecting the Government’s continued commitment to investing in our public services and infrastructure;
  • The Exchequer recorded a deficit of €1,471 million; this compares to a surplus last year of €2,344 million, which includes the impact of the proceeds of the AIB share disposal of €3.4bn, which boosted revenue last year.
  • Minister Donohoe welcome’s the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council’s endorsement of the Department’s economic forecasts


Speaking about the Exchequer figures today (Tuesday) Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., stated: ‘With only three months left in the year, overall tax receipts are in line with forecasts, while expenditure remains within expectations. This means that we are currently on track to meet our fiscal targets for 2018, providing a stable platform for Budget 2019.


Minister Donohoe went on to say that: ‘The White Paper will be published later this week, setting out the expected expenditure and revenue for next year, based on existing policy, prior to any new measures being announced in the Budget. The Exchequer forecast on a post-budgetary basis with be published next week as part of Budget 2019. We are currently on track to meet our fiscal targets for 2018, providing a stable platform for Budget 2019’.


Minister Donohoe also welcomed the endorsement today, by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, of his Department’s economic forecasts that underpin the Budget for 2019. The Department is forecasting GDP growth of 7.4 per cent this year, an upward revision of nearly 2 percentage points relative to the Department’s spring forecasts published in the April Stability Programme. The stronger than assumed figures in the first half of the year support this upward revision. For next year, the Department is projecting GDP to increase by 4.2 per cent.


Commenting on the forecasts Minister Donohoe said: ‘The baseline scenario, as set out by my Department, is for continued strong economic growth this year and next.  But we cannot take this for granted, especially in such an uncertain global economic environment.  In terms of the public finances, we must work to eliminate the deficit and reduce our debt – this is what the Government is doing.  We must also continue to boost our competitiveness, including by boosting productivity.  This is why the Government is raising capital spending – to boost productivity, enhance resilience and to invest in our future’.


Note to editors:

Under EU legislation (the ‘two pack’) euro area Member States should have their Budgets based on economic forecasts that have been endorsed by an independent body.  In Ireland, this endorsement function is performed by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC).

Endorsement letter from IFAC Chair is here.

Fiscal Monitor End September 2018  and Powerpoint presentation by DoF officials is here