Fiscal Monitor April 2020 highlights COVID-19’s adverse impact on public finances

May 11, 2020

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe T.D., released the Fiscal Monitor April 2020 as published under the Stability Programme Update. The Minister stated that the Government’s Stability Programme Update outlined a sharp deterioration in the public finances this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The figures also show a fall in tax revenues and increase in expenditure.

With public finances proving to be in good health before the crisis - a budget surplus, cash balances and reduced debt, the Government is committed to continuing to provide support to ensure the Irish economy recovers as quickly as possible from this crisis.

The top five key takeaway points were:

  • Tax revenues in April 2020 were down by 8 per cent, or €223 million, compared to April 2019.
  • Excise receipts fell 50 per cent year-on-year, or nearly €300 million, reflecting reduced consumption and a fall in new car sales (VRT).
  • At over €20 billion, net voted expenditure to end-April was ahead of profile by €2.4 billion, or 13.5 per cent. In year-on-year terms, expenditure was up €3.8 billion, or over 23 per cent.
  • The rise in expenditure reflects increased departmental drawdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the areas of health and social protection.
  • An Exchequer deficit of €7.5 billion was recorded to end April 2020.