End of 2016 Exchequer Returns show another good year for Ireland’s public finances


End of 2016 Exchequer Returns show another good year for Ireland’s public finances

  • Budget 2017 forecast a General Government Deficit for 2016 of 0.9% of GDP. The exchequer figures for end-2016, released today, support that forecast and also represent an improvement over 2015 when a deficit of 1.9% of GDP was recorded. This brings the public finances closer to a balanced budgetary position.
  • Taxes received in 2016 were ahead of the profile for the year (+€639 million or +1.4%) and ahead of taxes collected in 2015 (an increase of €2,263 million or +5.0%). Ireland’s costs of debt servicing have also fallen by 0.3 billion year on year.
  • Importantly, receipts on the four major tax heads grew year on year and three out of four finished the year ahead of target.
  • Expenditure for the year 2016 came in in line with expectations and showed an increase over the levels of service provision on 2015.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan T.D. stated:

“Our citizens deserve quality public services to help develop a fairer Ireland. The amount of tax collected in 2016 is at an historic high. It has provided not only for the extra expenditure incurred in 2016 but for the substantial tax reductions announced in the Budget in October 2015 and delivered during the course of 2016.”

Gross voted expenditure to deliver public services and invest in infrastructure is at just under €56 billion for the year – this is an increase of €1.3 billion or 2.4% relative to 2015. Gross current expenditure has increased by just under 2%, with capital expenditure up by 9.6%. These increases have allowed additional funding to be allocated to support key services, social supports and capital investment.  A key priority has been the Health service, with expenditure for the year of €14.1 billion showing an increase of almost €0.8 billion on the previous year.

These levels of expenditure demonstrate the Government’s commitment to improvements in public services, delivering sustainable growth in public spending at a rate that is prudent and responsible taking account of our recent economic history.

Further information from:

David Byrne - Press Officer - pressoffice@finance.gov.ie - 086 026 7978

Kevin O’Farrell - Press Officer - pressoffice@per.gov.ie - 085 806 9313