The latest Fiscal Assessment Report from the Fiscal Advisory Council has set a sobering tone for the Government in advance of October’s Budget 2018 statement according to the Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath.

Deputy McGrath commented, “The limited room for additional tax cuts and spending increases in the forthcoming budget as set out by the Fiscal Advisory Council is in stark contrast with the extravagant promises made during the recent Fine Gael leadership campaign. The Report adopts a cautious approach and contains some strong criticism of the Government’s approach to the fiscal rules in the past couple of years.

“Fianna Fáil looks forward to the publication of the Summer Economic Statement later this month which will update the macroeconomic projections and the estimate of fiscal space in advance of Budget 2018.

“As we approach the Budget, our priority will be to ensure delivery of some of the key commitments set out in the Confidence and Supply Arrangement, preparing the country for the challenges of Brexit, while also securing a balanced budget and a prudent approach to managing the public finances.

“Tackling some of the acute problems in housing, health and disability services, retaining mortgage interest relief, while making adequate provision for capital investment will be among our key priorities.

“It remains the view of Fianna Fáil that the Government could take a more ambitious approach to off balance sheet financing of capital investment such as through public private partnerships for example,” concluded McGrath.