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

Long-Term Trends

At the end of 2017 government revenue was €76.2 billion with expenditure coming in at €77.2 billion resulting in a  government deficit of €1.0 billion (-0.3% of GDP), an improvement on the 2016 deficit of €1.4 billion (-0.5% of GDP)

The main drivers behind the increase in government expenditure in 2017 to €77.2 billion were Compensation of employees/Pay (+6.4%), Social benefits (+1.9%) and Gross fixed capital formation (+8.0%).

The nominal general government gross debt (GG Debt) stood at €201.3 billion at the end of 2017 (68.0% of GDP) compared with the 2016 figure of €200.7 billion (72.8% of GDP).  The increase in GDP in 2017 was the primary driver in the decrease of the debt to GDP ratio while nominal debt levels remained relatively flat in the period.


Revenue vs Expenditure, Annual Figures

Source: CSO – Quarterly Government Finance Statistics