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IFAC calls for continued revenue support in the 2021 Budget

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The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has urged the Government to continue to support household and business income in next month’s Budget.

He says fiscal adjustment, or balancing books, should not happen before a recovery is well ingrained.

In her Pre-Budget Statement, The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council – which acts as a watchdog over budget policy – describes the economy between a crisis and a recovery.

For this reason, she says, it is not the time to turn off the huge support provided through various business schemes, payroll subsidies and pandemic payments.

In fact, IFAC thinks the Government should go further.

Proposes a flexible stimulus fund to respond to Covid-19 ups and downs and a deal-free Brexit.

Yesterday the Minister of Finance indicated that a Recovery Fund would be announced in the Budget but did not give any indication of its size.

IFAC also noted potential weaknesses in the economy with the continued strength of multinational exporters hiding a 20% drop in the value of ‘traditional’ exports and a drop of over 16% in the value of non-computer services.

Public finance support in the corporate tax is likely to be even greater this year.

The chairman of the Irish Fiscal Council has said the economy has taken an extraordinary hit as a result of the pandemic and while a recovery is taking place the economy remains weak, with high unemployment.

Sebastian Barnes told Morning Ireland that the Council is recommending that the Government prioritize revenue support measures for firms and enterprises and continue to support sectors of the economy badly affected by the Covid-19 crisis in next month’s Budget. .

The council is recommending a multi-year stimulus package worth about 10 billion euros to reach by 2022 and possibly beyond.

Mr Barnes said it was “absolutely appropriate” in these exceptional circumstances that the government should continue to support the economy and take advantage of good financing conditions in the market with the lowest interest rates available.

He said there were risks that the Covid-19 crisis could worsen more than expected and that there could be a difficult Brexit – this requires appropriate contingencies to exist, he said.

Sebastian Barnes said investments are a good way to support the economy by bringing long-term benefits. He suggested that areas including housing and climate change could be supported by the government during this time.

Mr Barnes said the refinancing would have short-term protection against interest rate movements, but when recovery occurs it would be important for debt to return to a more secure level to prevent exposure to interest rate changes.



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