Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Committee on Budgetary Oversight

Budget Priorities Exiting Covid-19 Pandemic: Discussion

Dr. Stephen Kinsella:

I thank the Deputy. His first question was where those savings will go. It is probably important for members to get a sense of what the savings rate is. It is the percentage of unspent income relative to the volume of that income. For most years it is approximately 10%. Since 1995 the average has been between 10% and 12% savings. It is upwards of 24% this year so there is a wall of money and the question is where does that go. I am very sorry to tell the Deputy that I do not know. The reason I do not know is we have not created the channels by which that expenditure can be funnelled.

What I mean by that is that there is no Guaranteed Irish-like website one can go to to say "I understand you have all these savings, so here are 100 Irish companies you can spend money on" or "Here is a charity you can donate to" or anything like that. There is no overarching infrastructure to shape those funds into the areas that we know need to get healed, if you like. One of the very good things about this is-----