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Policy Information

The Budget Cycle

Published: 3 December 2018
From: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and Department of Finance


Government spending for the year ahead is announced by the Minister in the Budget speech. However, the speech is simply one element in a budgetary cycle that takes place continuously over the course of the year. Key elements of this include:


Ireland submits its Stability Programme Update to the European Commission. This outlines fiscal and economic forecasts for three years, in line with our compliance with the EU's country-specific recommendations and fiscal rules. All countries coordinate their economic policies under the European Semester.


The Summer Economic Statement is published. This provides an updated assessment of the macro-economic and fiscal prospects, including the medium-term fiscal framework.

The National Economic Dialogue is held to facilitate an open and inclusive exchange on the competing economic and social priorities in advance of the Budget. These discussions can then inform Government and Oireachtas considerations.

The European Council endorses the Stability Programme Update in the form of final Country-Specific Recommendations . These generally propose fiscal and economic policy improvements and reforms.


The publication of a Mid-Year Expenditure Report (MYER) that identifies baseline pre-Budget expenditure ceilings.


The publication of Spending Review papers.


All documents published on Budget Day (generally the second Tuesday in October) are made available on a dedicated Budget website , including:

  • The Minister's speech ( Financial Statement )
  • The Expenditure Report
  • The White Paper (Estimates of receipts and expenditure for the year ahead)
  • Tax policy changes

Ireland submits its draft Budgetary plan for the following year to the European Commission, detailing the underlying fiscal and economic forecasts and fiscal plan to comply with the EU’s country-specific recommendations and fiscal rules (part of the European Semester).


The European Commission releases its assessment of Ireland's draft Budgetary plan.


The Revised Estimates Volumes for the Public Service (also known as the 'REV') provide additional details on the figures in the Expenditure Report.


The Fiscal Monitor summarises high-level revenue and expenditure information from month to month. All revenue and expenditure returns are measured against targets called 'profiles', which are set at the start of the year. These are based on the forecasts that were published in the Budget.

Medium-term Budgetary Framework (MTBF)

MTBFs are arrangements that allow a government to extend the horizon for fiscal policy-making beyond the annual budgetary calendar. The Department of Finance maintains a MTBF for Ireland. It was published in 2013 and revised in 2014. Learn more about MTBFs on the European Commission website .

Further information on Government Finances is available on site.

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