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Statement of the Minister for Finance – Budget Strategy Memorandum

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Published on Tuesday 19th July 2011

Statement of the Minister for Finance – Budget Strategy Memorandum

The following statement was issued today by the Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan.

The Budget Strategy Memorandum or BSM – a confidential, mid-year update of the emerging economic and budgetary outlook – was discussed at Cabinet today.

The BSM is an important part of the budgetary process. Work will of course continue over the coming weeks and months in the lead up to the 2012 Budget in assessing all of the emerging economic and budgetary data and the implications it might have for 2012 and beyond.

The General Government deficit target for 2012, as set by the ECOFIN Council in December 2010, is 8.6% of GDP. The Government noted the importance of that target in the context of the 2012 Budget.

In relation to 2011, it is encouraging that budgetary targets for the year to date have been met. The Government noted that GDP is growing once again, that the economic forecasts for this year set out in April’s Stability Programme Update (SPU) remain broadly on track and that the projected 2011 General Government deficit is in line with the SPU estimate, and within the limits set by the ECOFIN Council in December 2010. 

The Government remains committed to doing all it can to ensure that the targets set for the remainder of the year are also achieved. In that context, Ministers will ensure that voted expenditure is kept in line with profile over the course of the second half of the year, as it has been in the first six months.