Budget 2017 – Changes to the Process
There will be some changes to the Budget process and timetable this year for the 2017 Budget.
In June 2016 we should see the publication of the Government’s Spring/Summer Economic Statement. This will be followed by a National Economic Dialogue at the end of June 2016 followed by the publication of a Mid-Year Expenditure Report in July and circulation of the Tax Strategy Papers in late July.
These changes in the budgetary cycle are as a result of OECD concerns. The changes , according to Minister Noonan are ” intended to move away from a disconnected series of annual set-piece events replacing it with ongoing and active engagement with the Houses of the Oireachtas and its committees throughout the course of the budget cycle. “
The Spring/Summer Economic Statement (SES) is supposed to provide an assessment of the economic and fiscal prospects, including the medium-term fiscal framework. It will also provide an updated forecast on the fiscal space for subsequent discussion on budgetary priorities. The proposed new approach will see the SES presented to the Oireachtas in an entirely different way, with time allocated for inclusive and meaningful debate and discussion.
It is proposed that this Statement could be considered in advance of the summer recess by the Budget and Finance Committee to be established by the Dáil.
The National Economic Dialogue is supposed to facilitate an “open and inclusive exchange on the competing economic and social priorities in advance of Budget 2017“. It will be informed by the macro-economic and fiscal parameters, including the EU budgetary framework, which were set out in the Spring/Summer Economic Statement.
The Mid-Year Expenditure Report is due to report on expenditure trends to the end of June 2016 . It will set out the expenditure ceilings for 2016 . It will also set aggregate level ceilings for 2017-2019 at Vote level taking account of the forecast 2016 outturns and an analysis of the key non-discretionary drivers of expenditure.
It will also set out the basis for any changes since Budget Day October 2015 and give an update of the projections for 2017 expenditures prepared in October 2015 to take account of carryover of 2016 changes.
4. Following the publication of the report, the Committees could review the priorities and challenges for each Vote Group. They would then be requested to provide their recommendations on expenditure priorities for 2017 having regard to the available fiscal space published in the Spring/Summer Statement. These recommendations would feed into the Government’s consideration and development of budgetary measures to be announced on Budget Day in October 2016