Government launch the National Economic Dialogue 2024

27th May, 2024

The Taoiseach, Minister Ryan and the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery & Reform, are today (Monday) hosting the National Economic Dialogue 2024 (NED) , which is an integral part of the preparations for Budget 2025.

This year, the Dialogue’s overarching theme is “A more shock-prone world: challenges and opportunities for Ireland”.  The aim for this year’s Dialogue is that participants explore how Ireland can adapt to a global economic landscape in a state of flux, with the nature of trade and investment changing and geopolitical tensions at an elevated level.  The Dialogue will discuss how economic resilience can be enhanced and living standards and well-being preserved and improved. The Department of Finance has produced a short overview paper which sets the scene for discussions on these issues.

The Dialogue will see a range of policies across Government discussed in a number of breakout sessions, chaired by Government Ministers.  Themes to be discussed include the public finances, investment in public services, climate actions and the green transition, digital Ireland: building for the future, the agri-food sector, and poverty and income inequality. 

Representatives from community, voluntary and environmental groups, business, unions, research institutes and the academic community will be in attendance, as well as members of Cabinet and the Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight.  The Dialogue, however, is not intended to produce specific budget proposals or recommendations.

Speaking today, Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD said: 

“The National Economic Dialogue always provides a great opportunity to hear from various representative groups and bodies on the many priorities and challenges that are to the fore of people’s minds. The wide engagement and exchange of views and ideas is very worthwhile and I appreciate all those taking the time to attend this years’ Dialogue.   

Our economy has proved remarkably resilient in the 12 months since our last Dialogue, but we know that there are many challenges facing us such as an aging population, the digital and climate transitions, and a global economy impacted by geo political tensions.  It’s more important than ever that we continue to ensure that the Irish economy remains in a position to be able to respond to both the unexpected shocks that can impact us, and those that we clearly see on the horizon.  

I look forward to taking part in the discussions today and reflecting on all the issues raised.  They will be to the fore of my mind as I begin the preparations for Budget 2024″. 

Minister for the Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery & Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD said: 

“Having had the privilege of attending every National Economic Dialogue since they began I have witnessed how valuable these discussions are, and how they impact upon the design and development of Government policy. It allows us in Government to hear views from across society as we build on our strong economic performance to date and look to continue the delivery of better public services into the future. 

Developments over the past few years 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 seeking to maintain a sustainable trajectory for public finances over the medium to longer term. This approach has been possible because of the sound management of our public finances.

With the theme of challenges and opportunities for Ireland I look forward to a productive and insightful discussion on the choices and tools required to meet our ambitions for future development of our country in the years ahead.”