Opening Statement to the Budgetary Oversight Committee
Posted on September 13, 2016 by Tom McDonnell
The Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight commenced a series of pre budget hearings last week with contributions from DKM, NERI, the Irish Central Bank, and the ESRI. The hearings will continue this week with contributions from the Fiscal Council and from the European Commission and then next week with contributions from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, the Revenue Commissioners and the Minister for Finance. The pre budget report is due to be finalised on the 29th of September in advance of the budget.
It will be interesting to see whether the report has an influence on the policies announced on budget day. In any event the Committee should become more influential in future years once it beds down as a year long presence.
The opening statement from the NERI can be read here.
In our view increasing the annual per capita investment in education, infrastructure and R&D is the best budgetary strategy to enhance the long-run productive capacity of the Irish economy. Ireland's relatively low levels of spending by advanced economy standards on each of these three areas implies scope for increases. This position is discussed in greater depth here and here.