Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Photo of Rose Conway-WalshRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein)
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88. To ask the Minister for Finance if the Future Ireland Fund will be sufficient to make public finances sustainable beyond 2041; if so, the number of years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28647/24]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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The purpose of the Future Ireland Fund (the Fund) will be to support, expenditure by the State in a consistent and sustainable manner from 2041 onwards.

The policy and practical challenges on the horizon are also significant and the Fund will not in itself replace the need for other policy measures. However, the establishment of the Fund represents a responsible approach to the use of “windfall” tax receipts in the immediate term.

This in turn can help support sustainable public finances in the future by financing part of the future costs of structural change, particularly the costs associated with an ageing population, and the climate and digital transitions.

In terms of the amounts available, from 2041, in the ordinary course of events, the Act allows for up to 3% of the value of the Fund to be transferred to the Exchequer each year from 2041, so long as this withdrawal does not impact the value of the Fund Capital. The rationale for this limit is to protect the capital of the fund to ensure the benefits can be spread across a number of generations through the return from the Fund.

As the Minister for Finance advised the Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and Taoiseach (FINPERT) in May, it is estimated that the average fund value could be over €100 billion by the time of drawdown.

On that basis the potential drawdown that may be available from the Fund to support the Exchequer from 2041 would be in the region of €3 billion. This is a significant amount available to the Exchequer.

The resources will be transferred from the fund to the Exchequer from 2041 onwards and it will be a matter for the Government of the day to determine how the resources are used, thus maintaining democratic control over the use of these funds.

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