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 2019 government revenue was €89.1 billion with expenditure coming in at €87.3 billion resulting in a  government surplus of around €1.9 billion (0.5% of GDP), an improvement on the 2018 surplus of €400 million (0.1% of GDP). The nominal general government gross debt (GG Debt) stood at €204.2 billion at the end of 2019 (57.4% of GDP) compared with the 2018 figure of €205.9 billion (63% of GDP).

With increased levels of borrowing required to support the fiscal impact and response to Covid-19, gross general government debt increased by €22 billion since the end of 2019 to €226 billion as of end of second quarter of 2020.

GovFinances_Y_2019

Revenue vs Expenditure, Annual Figures

Source: CSO – Quarterly Government Finance Statistics