Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Committee on Budgetary Oversight

Pre-Budget 2022 Scrutiny: Irish Fiscal Advisory Council

Mr. Sebastian Barnes:

That would be one of the factors and there are many factors. It obviously does make a big difference. There has been a lot of discussion internationally over the past few years about the benefits of higher public investment but it often does not take into account the fact that the impact on the public finances depends a lot on whether it is revenue generating. Some of it indirectly generates revenue through encouraging growth but other things might not have that benefit. The multipliers matter a lot. There are some forms that will feed back relatively quickly into the public finances because they are quite employment intensive, for example, but buying imported things is going to have a lot less impact.

Of course, the NDP is about much more than just public investment. There is a broader vision of the economy, which will be important for growth and issues such as climate change. One of the things we need to understand is whether the measures in the NDP are going to meet the Government's own climate objectives. If there is a shortfall there that would suggest that maybe more spending is needed than is in the plan, then that would, of course, be a concern. If it is a plan consistent with delivering the Government's objectives, we would find that reassuring.


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