Economy growing and austerity likely to ease up


‘Ireland has space to ease up on austerity in 2014’ said Minister of Finance, Michael Noonan, yesterday according to a Reuters report.

The new agency goes on to report the Finance Minister as saying that “The level of consolidation required to deliver us a deficit of at least 5.1 (percent) and to get us into primary surplus territory, we think we can do it somewhat less than the 3.1 (billion euros) but we still have an awful lot of number crunching to do.”

The official release as published on the Department of Finance website is somewhat more measured and reads as follows:

“Exchequer Returns show Ireland on target in 2013

Tax receipts on profile and expenditure under control in Q3 Exchequer Returns

The Exchequer Statement to the end of September 2013 was published today (Wednesday, 2 October 2013) by the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The Exchequer deficit at end September 2013 stood at €7,142 million, €4 billion lower than the same period last year. Just under €26.9 billion in taxes were collected; up €768 million (2.9%) on the same period last year and Departmental expenditure, at just over €31.6 billion, represents a reduction of €1.6 (4.9%) billion year on year.

Commenting on the end-September returns, the Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin, T.D stated:

“The Exchequer performance for the first nine months of 2013 is in line with expectations and highlights the consistent improvement in the management of Ireland’s public finances by this Government. The tax base is growing in line with profile, up 3% year on year, and expenditure is being managed effectively, down 4.9% year on year.

In 2011 and 2012 we have met and in fact beaten our deficit targets and today’s figures provide confidence that this will again be the case this year.

We have consistently stated that restoring stability and order to the public finances is a necessary pre-condition for our return to economic growth, job creation and the strengthening of international confidence in this country. Nine months into 2013, the Irish economy is growing, 3,000 jobs are being added each month, new investments by companies are being announced each week and our bond yields are consistently trading below 4%.

Nevertheless, with the Exchequer borrowing in excess of €7 billion for the first 9 months of the year, we must continue with our efforts to manage the public finances in a manner which underpins this recovery. This is necessary in order to build upon the progress to-date, to support growth and job creation and to secure a full and sustained exit from the programme and return to the markets.”


2 October, 2013”

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