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Policy Information

Government Finances

Last updated: 18 December 2018
Published: 5 December 2018
From: Department of Finance and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

This policy involves the careful management of the public finances – what the Government collects and spends. Key areas are as follows:

Government Expenditure

Annual Government Expenditure for the year ahead is announced by the Minister in the Budget speech (the ‘fiscal statement’) every October.

Budgetary Cycle

However, the Budget speech is simply one part of The Budgetary Cycle which takes place over the course of the year.​

Budgetary Framework

The Government publishes a Budget in October each year which sets out the tax and spending measures that will be adopted for the year ahead. As part of the Budgetary Framework, we are bound by EU rules in terms of our Budget. This must be signed off by the European Commission before coming into effect each January. It is also important that Ireland’s interests are protected and advanced on the EU and global stage.

Public Finances

This policy involves careful management of public finances, by recording what the Government collects and spends. This includes a mixture of tax and spending, ensuring our economic future is protected while investing in key areas such as education, health, childcare and housing. As part of their commitment to Public Finances, the Government is committed to broadening our tax base in order to reduce the tax workers and to allow for the investment in public services.​


Managing our public debt and running a balanced budget are key priorities for Government Economics. These policies will enable the economy here to withstand shocks in the global economy which are outside of our control.