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The Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform presented Budget 2017 against what is arguably the most favourable economic and fiscal backdrop in a number of years.
Notwithstanding this fact, it is also true to say that the budget was presented against a background of intense uncertainty and challenge. Brexit, ongoing sterling weakness, the recent Apple tax ruling, growing unrest amongst some trade unions, and the unstable nature of the Dail and the government, are all issues of significant concern that should have a major bearing on the nature of Budget 2017 and indeed fiscal policy for the coming years.
Budget 2017 is the 6th budget presented by Michael Noonan. The total package in the Budget is estimated at €1.3 billion. The tax component in 2017 comprises of €195 million in tax increases and €504 million in tax cuts, giving a net tax package of just €309 million. The remainder of the budgetary package is comprised of increases of roughly €1 billion in additional public expenditure above the amounts pre-committed in line with the Mid-Year Expenditure Review. In 2017, the Gross Current Expenditure Ceiling will increase by €1.5 billion and the Gross Capital Expenditure Ceiling will increase by €368 million.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.