Government Finances

Government Finances

In March 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government introduced measures to increase the capacity of the health sector and provide supports to businesses and households. These measures were in place for the duration of the second quarter. As a result, there was a direct impact on the level of expenditure (up €6.2 billion compared with Q2 2019) while revenue has declined, linked to both the measures and restrictions that were put in place. General government recorded a deficit of €10.2 billion (5.8% of quarterly GDP) in the first half of 2020.

In the first six months of 2020, government revenue was 6.7 per cent lower than the same period of 2019. Indirect taxes were down 23.5 per cent, predominantly due to reduced VAT receipts, with direct taxes (including corporation tax and income tax) were up 8.7 per cent.

Short-Term Trends

Revenue vs Expenditure, Quarterly Figures

Source: CSO – Quarterly Government Finance Statistics

Long-Term Trends

At the end of 2018 government revenue was €82.03 billion with expenditure coming in at €81.98 billion resulting in a  government surplus of around €50 million (0.0% of GDP), an improvement on the 2016 deficit of €830 million (-0.3% of GDP)

The nominal general government gross debt (GG Debt) stood at €206.2 billion at the end of 2018 (64.8% of GDP) compared with the 2017 figure of €201.4 billion (68.5% of GDP).

The increase in GDP in 2018 was the primary driver in the decrease of the debt to GDP ratio while nominal debt levels increased by around 2.5% in the period.


Revenue vs Expenditure, Annual Figures

Source: CSO – Quarterly Government Finance Statistics