The Government must not delay the publication of the Pre-Budget Outlook and the new Multi-Year Plan for electoral purposes, according to Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath.
Deputy McGrath stated, ‘At the Order of Business today in the Dáil, the Taoiseach advised me that the Government’s Pre-Budget Outlook and new Multi-Year Fiscal Plan would not be published until the end of October.
‘The expectation had been that the Pre-Budget Outlook and new Fiscal Plan would be published earlier in October to allow the maximum possible time for parliamentary debate prior to the Budget. In addition, the earlier the Plan is published, the sooner the Irish people will know where they stand on planned spending cuts and tax changes and will be able to plan their financial affairs into the future.
‘It now appears the Government may have deliberately chosen a date for publication after the Presidential election and the Dublin West By-Election which are being held on October 27th for fear voters might turn on Fine Gael and Labour candidates.
‘The Pre-Budget Outlook and new Multi-Year Plan will be the first time the new Government has to make any hard decisions on the public finances. Up to now, they have been living off the Budget for 2011 passed by the previous Government and which they resolutely opposed.
‘I am calling on the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to set a date for the publication of the Pre-Budget Outlook and new Multi-Year Fiscal Plan without any regard to the elections at the end of October. The problems facing the country are far too serious for political decisions to be made based on party political electoral considerations.’