Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Special Committee on Covid-19 Response

Covid-19: Impact on the Fiscal Position

Mr. Sebastian Barnes:

I hope the report we provided has given a useful framework for people. I am not aware of anyone else who has done three fiscal scenarios for the next five years anywhere in the world. I think that helps to set the context. As they see this Government debt coming up, many people might legitimately be worried about what is going to happen and whether we are getting into trouble. By looking at the medium term, we can be relatively reassuring and say that we can be confident that there should be fiscal space for the stimulus measures and the emergency measures. That will come with adjustment but, hopefully, we have also been helpful in pointing out that this adjustment will be much less than people remember from a decade ago, even in a difficult scenario for Covid-19. I hope we have played our role and that the report has been helpful to the Government and people of Ireland.