Government Finances

Government Finances

Government Finances are set out in the fiscal policy for that year. Fiscal policy can be defined as any action by the Government which affects the size, structure and timing of Government revenue and expenditure.  The responsibility for the implementation of the government’s fiscal policy rests with the Minster for Finance. The Budget, presented to the Dáil each year by the Minster for Finance, is the means by which fiscal policy is pursued.

Short-Term Trends


Revenue vs Expenditure, Quarterly Figures

Source: CSO – Quarterly Government Finance Statistics – Updated 14/11/2017

Long-Term Trends

Irish Government revenue was €72.6 billion in 2016, while expenditure was around €74.4 billion leading to a General Government Deficit (GG Deficit) of around €1.8 billion, or 0.7% of GDP. This compares to a deficit of €5 billion, or 2 % of GDP for 2015. Taxes and Social Contributions, the largest component of revenue over the period, represented just over 89% of total government revenue in 2016. Social Benefits, the biggest expenditure category, accounted for around 38% of government spending in 2015.

The General Government Gross Debt (GG Debt) stood at €200.6 billion at the end of 2016 down from €201.4 billion at the end of 2015.


Revenue vs Expenditure, Annual Figures

Source: CSO – Quarterly Government Finance Statistics  – Updated 25/08/2017