Government hosts the annual National Economic Dialogue 2023

12th June, 2023

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister Eamon Ryan and the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery & Reform, will today (Monday) host the National Economic Dialogue 2023.

The Dialogue is an integral part of the annual Budgetary architecture, and provides a valuable opportunity to discuss the key opportunities and challenges facing the country in advance of Budget 2024.  

A range of cross-Government policies will be discussed in an open and inclusive format, with representatives from community, voluntary and environmental groups, business, unions, research institutes and the academic community.  Members of Cabinet and the Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight will also participate.

The Dialogue is not intended to produce specific budget proposals or recommendations.

The theme of this year’s Dialogue is “The economy in 2030 – enabling a sustainable future for all.”  The objective is to focus the discussions on more medium-term issues and, in doing so, gain a shared understanding of the longer-term factors that will shape economic trends and drive living standards in the future.  To set the scene, a short overview paper highlighting some of the key medium-term structural trends has been prepared by the Department of Finance.

The Dialogue involves a number of ‘breakout sessions’ involving senior Ministers.  These themes include breakout sessions on: sustainable public finances, better public service delivery, national climate action objectives, building a competitive business environment, delivering housing for all, moving to a sustainable food system, and leveraging digital in the future of work and employment service delivery.  Short, scene-setting papers have been prepared by the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform for each of these breakout sessions.

Speaking in advance of NED, the Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD said: 

“The National Economic Dialogue provides an important forum to hear from various representative groups and bodies covering a wide spectrum of Irish society.  It is a crucial part of our annual budgetary infrastructure and I really value the engagement and discussions that have taken place at previous Dialogues.  

“We know that the increase in the cost of living and high inflation have created difficulties for many in our society and this will be the forefront of my mind as begin calibrating Budget 2024

“We must also be conscious that our economy is now at full-employment, and it is important that budgetary policy does not add to inflation – to put it another way, budgetary policy cannot become part of the inflation problem.

“While the public finances are in robust shape, we know that we face real vulnerabilities in relation to the concentration of corporation tax receipts, an ageing population and the need to finance the climate and digital transitions.  

“I look forward to hearing from all those attending today and reflecting on these contributions.”

Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD added:

“The National Economic Dialogue is an important milestone in our annual budgetary calendar. It provides a valuable forum for an open and inclusive exchange of views on the competing economic and social priorities facing the government today and in the future.

The developments of the past few years, including Covid pandemic, war in Ukraine and elevated inflation levels, have required a responsive expenditure strategy. The Government has sought to balance these emerging needs, including through Cost of Living supports, with continued investment in day-to-day public services and infrastructure whilst also ensuring the public finances remain sustainable.

The theme for today’s Dialogue provides an opportunity for a broad ranging, future-focused discussion by asking participants to consider the economy in 2030, and how we can enable a sustainable future for all. I look forward to a productive and insightful discussion on the choices and tools required to sow the seeds for future development of our country into the next decade. “


Minister for Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport Eamon Ryan TD said:

“A priority issue between now and 2030 is delivering on Housing for All. We have to ensure that the Land Development Agency is fully resourced to identify and secure development sites where people want to live, in our towns and cities, and that our planning board and system is adequately resourced so that we can deliver these quality homes quickly.

“At the same time, we have to prioritise climate and nature. We have the National Development Plan, we have our Climate Action Plan; now we have to get on with the job of delivering on them – at speed, at scale, with ambition. We need to ensure support for our key agencies like An Bord Pleanala and MARA and we have to fully resource the National Parks and Wildlife Services to carry out the critical work needed to restore nature and biodiversity. Above all, we have to keep people at the heart of everything we do, ensuring that quality of life and opportunities are better in 2030 than they are now – by paying farmers to produce quality food and to help us restore nature, by ensuring that we end child poverty, and by creating well-paying green jobs, powered by our own homegrown, clean green energy.”