To ask the Minister for Finance his views on the possibility of reforming the budget process to take into account the impact that Budget 2013 announcements have on the retail industry in the run up to the Christmas period; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Reply Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD
I am aware of the concerns about the impact of the current Budget timetable on Christmas trading volumes. The budget generally takes place in the first week of December in order to ensure that it is underpinned by the most robust data available including the very significant proportion of corporation and income tax revenues that are paid into the Exchequer in November. This enables an assessment of what impact revenue collection in the key month of November might have on budgetary plans for the following year.
That said, one of the reforms underway at European level concerns the bringing forward of a common budgetary timeline which will require that draft budgets be made public no later than 15 October each year. At this point, this new timeline seems likely to “kick-in” from 2013.
This means that much of our existing budgetary process, which is traditionally completed in the first week of December, will have to be finalised earlier in the year. While this will pose challenges for all concerned, effective action will be taken to ensure that we remain in full compliance with these requirements.