Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD has said his party supports the call made by the Fiscal Advisory Council for the Government to publish a detailed proposal on the operation of a ‘Rainy Day Fund’ prior to, or as part of, Budget 2018.

Deputy McGrath commented, “In the Summer Economic Statement published in June 2016, the Government promised to publish a paper for consultation with the Oireachtas in late 2016 / early 2017 outlining how the fund would work in practice.

“Despite announcing since that the amount going into the fund from 2019 would be half the level previously set, some fifteen months on from June 2016 and the Government still hasn’t produced such a paper on a ‘Rainy Day Fund’.

“I will be raising this matter with Minister Paschal Donohoe and asking that the Government flesh out plans to put such a fund in place from 2019 in a manner that it can be drawn down when needed to sustain crucial public services.

“On a wider level, I welcome the contribution from the Fiscal Advisory Council to the debate on Budget 2018. It is important that the fiscal rules are honoured and that a balanced budget is achieved in 2018. Fianna Fáil will be seeking to ensure that Budget 2018 is fair and progressive and tackles the key challenges facing the country in a tangible way.

“The opportunity must be taken in the budget to deliver meaningful progress on the central challenges of housing and health, while preparing our economy insofar as possible for the still unknown effects of Brexit. In line with this, Fianna Fáil will be seeking progress on the policy objectives set out in the Confidence & Supply Arrangement towards achieving a fairer Ireland with decent public services at its core.”