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The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council fourth fiscal assessment report shows that the budgetary outlook has improved in recent months.

With the deficit now likely to be closer to two percent of GDP in 2015, with a better than expected 2012 budget outturn alongside the recent promissory note transaction, the Council does not make a case for additional budgetary tightening beyond current Government plans in this report.

Chair of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, Professor John McHale warns that uncertainties remain in relation to the prospects for growth and the capacity to meet challenging expenditure reduction targets in Health. Additionally, he added: “The Council’s assessment is that the planned adjustments of €3.1bn in 2014 and €2bn in 2015 should not be reduced.”

Fiscal Assessment Reports are submitted to the Minister for Finance and laid before the Oireachtas.

The Council is chaired by Professor John McHale, NUI, Galway. The other council members are Mr Sebastian Barnes, Dr Donal Donovan, Dr Róisín O’Sullivan and Professor Alan Barrett. In February 2012, editor of the Public Affairs Ireland Journal Sarah Kilduff had a discussion with Professor Barrett during which he outlined the reason behind the establishment of the Council and its role in providing the Government with policy advice. To view the interview, click here.