Govt Approves Proposed Reform Of Budgetary Process

The government has approved the reform of the budgetary process, as proposed by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, and Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan.

The proposed new approach is designed to meet the requirement for a major intensification of dialogue and interaction with the Oireachtas on budgetary matters.

Minister Donohoe said: "The Programme for Government confirms the Government's objective to work in close partnership with the Oireachtas. The reforms the Government are now bringing forward to the budgetary process are a major innovation in empowering the Dáil to examine, debate and make recommendations to Government on budgetary priorities."

The key elements of the proposed approach for Budget 2017 to ensure that the budgetary process is underpinned by substantially enhanced Dáil input into, and feedback on, budget proposals include:

• The publication of the Government's Spring/Summer Economic Statement in June.

• Holding the National Economic Dialogue at the end of June.

• The publication of a Mid-Year Expenditure Report in July for the first time.

• Circulation of the Tax Strategy Papers to the relevant Sectoral Oireachtas Committees in late July.

Minister Noonan added: "These new milestones in the budgetary cycle are intended to mark a decisive shift away from what has been characterised by the OECD as 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 Government's reforms will provide all members of the Oireachtas with the opportunity to influence and critique budget allocations and priorities, making budgetary debate and discussion in Ireland more realistic, informed and effective."

The Government's proposals will be submitted shortly to the Select Committee on Arrangements for Budgetary Scrutiny. As part of the engagement with the Houses of the Oireachtas on this issue, Ministers Donohoe and Noonan will make themselves available to the Select Committee on Arrangements for Budgetary Scrutiny to discuss the proposals.

The first meeting of the Committee is expected to take place in the coming days.


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