RTE 1 NEWS article The Government will unveil its stimulus plan next week, but in the meantime the Government is already in the midst of cutting public spending.
Key points:Minister for Finance Michael Noonan says the Government will cut public expenditure in the next two yearsThe Government has set the target of cutting the deficit in the first year of the next governmentBy Sean O’NeillThe Government’s fiscal targets are set to be unveiled on Monday at a special Budget session, with the first cut to be made in 2019The Government will set the budget target of reducing public spending in the period of March to April 2019.
But there are a number of factors that need to be considered before that happens, Finance Minister Michael Noonen told the RTE Morning Ireland programme.
“What we have to be mindful of is the level of debt we’re undertaking, the debt burden, the fiscal pressures,” Mr Noonan said.
“And what we also need to consider is that the debt has to be managed in a way that is consistent with the fiscal balance.”
It has to not grow too fast, it has to grow gradually.
“Mr Noonan acknowledged the Government has to have a plan to deal with the current debt, but he said it had to be sustainable.”
I think the government needs to be realistic about how it will be able to get through this period, in terms of the fiscal and debt sustainability,” he said.
The Government said in the budget it was aiming to reduce the deficit to 5.7 per cent of GDP by the end of 2019.
However, Mr Noonen said the Government had set the deficit target of 3.8 per cent, a level it has not previously reached.”
We are looking to reduce it in the years that we have set the fiscal target,” he added.”
That means that by the middle of this year we will have reached that fiscal target and we will not be going into 2019 with a deficit.
“There will also be a cut to the amount that the State collects from business, the Government said.
It has also announced a series of tax relief measures for individuals and small businesses, including a 3 per cent rate on incomes over €100,000.
Mr Noonen noted that in the past, this tax relief had not been available.”
This will be the first time in our history that this is available,” he noted.”
So we are going to have to make sure that people understand that there is a cost associated with not having this tax, the cost of not having that tax, and that is the first thing that people need to understand.
“However, the State will not get a refund on the amount paid to other State employees, and will be required to reimburse them.
In addition, there will be a 1 per cent surcharge for companies that pay a higher share of their turnover in tax than they would have otherwise.”
There are going be additional provisions for those companies that are paying a higher proportion of their profits in tax and there are additional measures for those firms that are not paying a share of a company’s income in tax,” Mr Niamh O’Donnell said.
But it is the Government’s cuts to the public service, the largest of the Government plans, that are the biggest concern for the Government.”
The public service has been very well funded and it has been funded fairly well, so this Government has been able to pay the public services fairly well.
“But we will continue to have significant cuts to those public services.”
The Government says it will save $1.6bn over the next three years by cutting expenses.
The Budget also confirms that in 2019, the first budget period will be set against a projected GDP growth rate of 5.8% with the government expecting the economy to grow by 3.6% in 2019.
It is not clear how the Government would achieve this target, but Mr Noonne said it would be in line with other countries.
“As I said in my Budget speech last week, we have a very robust economy.
We are in a recovery.
We have the lowest unemployment rate in 20 years.
We continue to see the recovery in the economy, in employment, in wages and we are forecasting that the GDP growth is going to be the strongest in our lifetimes,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland.”
Of course, we are seeing the economy grow very slowly, but we are also seeing employment growing very slowly.”
Obviously we will also have to continue to maintain a strong public finances programme, but it will have to happen.
“The government has been targeting a deficit reduction of at least 4 per cent this financial year.