The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has said there will be “no abrupt end” to the Covid financial supports.
Over the coming weeks, Michael McGrath said the Government will finalise its approach for those supports beyond the end of June, when they are due to finish.
The Minister said the Government will be very careful in any decisions it makes and the supports will continue at the full rates at least until the end of June.
Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, he said as the recovery from the pandemic takes hold, “the Covid related spending will be unwound in a careful way over a period of time”.
This will allow the public finances return to more normal levels of spending as the Government unwinds the emergency supports.
Mr McGrath said this is about making sensible decisions in managing the public finances, adding that the Government is confident the recovery of the economy will do the bulk of the heavy lifting.
The recent publication of the Stability Programme Update shows that even with modest continued growth in core expenditure of the order of 3.5%, the country can move back towards a balanced budget during the lifetime of this Government.
He said the Government is “very confident the Irish economy is going to rebound quite strongly after Covid” and said it is really conscious of the need for the Government to support that recovery.
The Government made a decision last year that Covid spending, which Mr McGrath said is a form of emergency spending, was separated from day to day core public spending.