Delay in Summer Economic Statement Unacceptable

Last week I highlighted the unacceptability of further delay of the publication of the Summer Economic Statement. This will further undermine 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 Committ ee 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.