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UPDATE 1-Ireland to target deficit below 6% with big budget package - source

Mon, 12th Oct 2020 16:31

(Adds details)

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Ireland will aim to cut its budget
deficit to just below 6% of gross domestic product next year
while at the same time offering a large budget day package for
those hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, a source familiar with
the process said on Monday.

Ministers will announce the new measures on Tuesday, with a
narrower than forecast budget shortfall this year allowing more
room to cushion the impact of some of Europe's toughest COVID-19
restrictions and prepare for a possible no trade deal Brexit.

Ireland's budget deficit is set to hit 6.1% of GDP this year
and the finance department forecast last week that it would fall
to 4% next year if no additional measures were announced in the
budget for 2021.

The government will use the leeway to add around 5 billion
euros in current and capital expenditure above what is already
allowed for and set aside over 3 billion euros in a recovery
fund for Brexit or COVID-19 hit firms, the source said.

A deficit below 6% would meet Finance Minister Paschal
Donohoe's aims of keeping Ireland's fiscal position in line with
other European Union member states and signalling a return to a
broadly balanced budget over time.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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