Delay in Summer Economic Statement Unacceptable

22 June 2017

Labour spokesperson on Finance, Joan Burton has said that a further four week delay to the publication of the Summer Economic Statement is unacceptable, and further undermines efforts to reform the budgetary process and ensure proper parliamentary scrutiny. In particular it will delay the work of the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight.

Deputy Burton said:

“We had been reassured that the Summer Economic Statement (SES) would be published in mid June, but today Minister Donohoe indicated it would be a further four weeks. This will mean the Dáil will have likely reached the summer recess before we have critical economic data available to TDs.

“The programme for Government includes a commitment to reform the Budget process, including the publication of a “Spring Economic Statement to set the capacity for spending and taxation changes.

“Last year, the SES was not published until 21st June, which limited the capacity of the Budgetary Oversight Committee to do their work. The idea of publishing it in Spring has clearly fallen by the wayside.

“This delay further undermines efforts to ensure appropriate parliamentary scrutiny of the budget process. It will also impact on those groups that will seek to make submissions, and opposition parties planning for the Autumn budget.

“We have no idea as to what official thinking on the capacity of the Government to make tax and spending changes for next year.

“With the impact of Brexit, lower tax yields, higher growth and lower unemployment, it is likely that there will be changes to the amount of fiscal space. It is disappointing that a year on the Government has reneged on such an important reform.”

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