Irish Fiscal Advisory Council warns Govt's Budget spending 'to breach EU rules'

There is a warning this morning about the higher-than-expected spending increases in Budget 2017.

The head of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council is warning that the Government is set to miss a key borrowing target for this year.

John McHale was speaking to the Irish Times, ahead of the council's official budget report which is due to be released in the coming weeks.

Mr McHale said that announced Government spending was "beyond what was prudent and was set to breach key EU rules".

Chief Economist with Davy, Conall MacCoille, says he understands the concerns considering the state of the public finances.

He said: "We're only just in line this year and we are increasing spending so we are relying now on these Corporate Tax revenues.

"And at the same time looking forward, we have got Brexit coming over the hills, so it feels like the last opportunity for a big giveaway, things could get more difficult from here.

"I certainly think the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council are saying we need to put a reign on spending going into these more uncertain times."

The Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe also says there will be no problem filling the new Public Sector jobs being created under the Budget.

Yesterday's spending measures include positions for 1,000 new nurses, 2,400 new teachers, and 800 new Gardaí.

However, the news comes as nursing unions continue a campaign to secure better working conditions for new recruits.

Minister Donohoe says there should not be any problem in getting new workers to fill the roles.

He said: "I'm absolutely confident that we will be able to hire and fill the different posts that we have advertised for.

"In relation to An Garda Síochána, I understand that in recent recruiting rounds we have had no difficulty filling the posts that they have needed to fill."


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