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Introduction

This release comprises the latest official publication by CSO of annual Government Finance Statistics (GFS) results for years 2014 to 2019. 

The data published are consistent with the General Government Deficit and Debt levels reported at end-September 2020 under the EU regulation governing the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). Consequently they may not always be fully aligned with the National Income and Expenditure and related publications such as the Institutional Sector Accounts.

The official publication by Eurostat of deficit and debt levels for all EU member states is 22 October 2020.

The tables provide detailed revenue, expenditure and balance sheet data for general government. These data are also available on CSO Statbank .

The full suite of GFS tables are also available on the .

Data for all EU Member States are available on Eurostat's database.

Methodological changes to data

Methodological review and revision of Compensation of employees (ESA code D.1):

The National Accounts IT (NAIT) project has enabled Government Accounts Compilation and Outputs (GACO) Division to review, develop and streamline its data sources and compilation methods. In parallel with this ongoing work, a new Revenue data source for compensation of employees, i.e. pay, (ESA code = D.1) has become available to the CSO. Pay As You Earn Modernisation (PMOD) is a more comprehensive and timely data from the Revenue Commissioners. This “live” monthly data is processed within the NAIT system. The vastly improved timeliness of this data leads to more real time quarterly estimates of D.1 and provides for consistency between annual and quarterly estimates.  The sub-components of D.1 were revised in this methodological review - Imputed Employer Pension Contributions (D.1221); Imputed Employer Non-Pension Contributions (D.1222) for the whole economy and government employee social contributions. The historical quarterly profile has been revised in line with public service numbers using the Denton method. This review has culminated in a robust method for the compilation of the components of D.1 for General Government (2011-2019) that is consistent with estimates of D.1 for other sectors of the economy.  

Revisions to general government balance 

Approved Housing Bodies: Since March 2020 data for three Approved Housing Bodies newly classified into the local government sector has been incorporated into the data for 2016-2019.

Local Government Entities: New data on local government entities is now included for 2018.

For NIE 2019, expenditure under the 'Early Childhood Care and Education Programme' (ECCE) was reclassified from P.2 to D.632 from 2011 onwards. Other changes to the D.632 figures reflect updated data for local authority housing payments and free fees payments to universities.

 

Revisions to general government debt 

Estimates of the general government debt have been revised since April 2020.  Revisions are due to improved compilation processes and, for recent years, also reflect the availability of more up-to-date and detailed data sources.

Transactions of note during 2019

Super dividend: In 2019 Q2 the exchequer received a super dividend of €1,653 million from the Central Bank of Ireland.

IBRC payment to Exchequer: In 2013 the payment by the Exchequer of €1.1 billion to meet obligations to IBRC deposit holders under the guarantee schemes in operation was treated as the granting of a loan from the Exchequer to IBRC, on the understanding that the Exchequer would be treated as a creditor of IBRC in the liquidation process and that there was a reasonable expectation of repayment. In quarter 4 2019 €681.7 million was repaid to the Exchequer.

Consultants pay settlement: In June 2018 there was a settlement made following a court process with medical consultants in relation to pay arrears.  The backdated payments of €104 million were recorded as D.99 expenditure of central government in Q3 and Q4 2019.

Net acquisition of unproduced assets (NP): The sale of the former DIT Kevin Street Campus for €140 million in Q3 2019 is included under the NP figure.

Movements of note in the balance sheet

At the end of 2019 the value of the State's assets in Equity and Investment Fund Shares (AF.5, Table 6) stood at €34.7 billion, representing a year-on-year fall of €2.4 billion since Q4 2018. This drop in value was driven almost entirely by a reduction in holdings in this asset class of €2.4 billion (Table 5) as holding gains/losses were largely neutral over the same period (Tables 5 and 6). 

On the other side of the balance sheet the market value of the State's liabilities grew by €1.9 billion during 2019. This was mainly driven by an increased indebtedness through deposits and bonds (AF.2 and AF.3) that was offset by repayments of the UK bilateral loan of €1.2 billion in this period.

GDP figures used in publication

The GDP figures used in this publication are consistent with those published in the National Income and Expenditure accounts published on 20 July 2020 and the Quarterly National Accounts published on the 7 September 2020.

Modified Gross National Income (GNI*)

Modified Gross National Income (GNI*) is equal to Gross National Income at current market prices less the factor income of redomiciled companies, less depreciation on research and development related intellectual property imports and less depreciation on aircraft related to aircraft leasing.

Government Finance Statistics – concepts and definitions

Government Finance Statistics (GFS) form the basis for fiscal monitoring in Europe, in particular in relation to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP).

European GFS, including EDP statistics, are produced according to the legally binding accounting rules of the European System of Accounts (ESA2010). The Manual on Government Debt and Deficit (MGDD) provides further guidance on the implementation of ESA2010 in the context of GFS.

EU Member States are required to report government deficit/surplus and debt data biannually under the EDP (before 1 April and 1 October in year N) for years N-4 to N-1 calendar years as well as a forecast for the current year. The data are reported in harmonised tables, which provide a consistent framework for the presentation of this data by Member States. The tables provide a structure for linking national budgetary aggregates with government deficit and debt.

Detailed statistics on government revenue and expenditure are also provided to Eurostat under the ESA transmission programme.  For annual data the main tables reported are:

Table 0200   Revenue and expenditure of general government and sub-sectors

Tables 0900 and 0999    Taxes and national tax list

These data are available on the Eurostat website .

Definition of general government and its subsectors

The general government sector of the economy, is defined in ESA2010 paragraph 2.111: as “institutional units which are non-market producers whose output is intended for individual and collective consumption, and are financed by compulsory payments made by units belonging to other sectors, and institutional units principally engaged in the redistribution of national income and wealth.” General government comprises the sub-sectors central government (S.1311), state government (S.1312 – which does not apply in Ireland), local government (S.1313), and social security funds (S.1314 – which does not apply in Ireland),

General government balance is the standard European measure of the fiscal balance, which is used to monitor compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact.

This measure is by definition equal to both Total Revenue (TR) less Total Expenditure (TE), and Net Acquisition of Financial Assets less Net Incurrence of Liabilities as shown in the GFS release.

A listing of some of the main items included in this release is shown below.

Main components of general government expenditure and revenue

P.2       Intermediate consumption – value of goods and services used in the process of production, excluding fixed assets

P.5       Gross capital formation

            P.51g   Gross fixed capital formation - acquisitions, less disposals, of fixed assets during a given period plus certain additions to the value of non-produced assets realised by productive activity. Fixed assets are tangible or intangible assets produced as outputs from processes of production that are themselves used repeatedly, or continuously, in processes of production for more than one year

            P.51c   Consumption of fixed capital - the amount of fixed assets used up, during the period under consideration, as a result of normal wear and tear and foreseeable obsolescence, including a provision for losses of fixed assets as a result of accidental damage which can be insured against.

P.52     Changes in inventories

P.53     Acquisitions less disposals of valuables

D.1      Compensation of employees – the total remuneration of government employees

D.29    Other taxes on production (payable) all taxes that enterprises incur as a result of engaging in production, independently of the quantity or value of the goods and services produced or sold. These include taxes on use or ownership of land or buildings, taxes on use of fixed assets, taxes on total wage bill and payroll, taxes on international transactions related to production.

D.3      Subsidies (payable) - current unrequited payments which general government or the institutions of the European Union make to resident producers, with the objective of influencing their levels of production, their prices or the remuneration of the factors of production

D.4      Property income accrues when the owners of financial assets and natural resources put them at the disposal of other units of the economy. The income payable for the use of financial assets is called investment income, while that payable for the use of a natural resource is called rent. Property income is the sum of investment income and rent.

           D.41    Interest receivable by the owners of a financial asset for putting it at the disposal of another institutional unit - applies to deposits (AF.2), debt securities (AF.3), loans (AF.4) and other accounts payable (AF.8)

           D.42    Dividends receivable by the owners of share equities. Dividends exclude "super dividends" which arise where the dividend paid is large relative to the recent level of dividends and earnings. Super dividends are recorded as withdrawal of equity (F.5). This arises, for example, in the case of dividends paid by the Central Bank in 2015.

           D.45    Rent of a natural resource – income receivable by the owner of a natural resource for putting the resource at the disposal of another party.

D.5      Current taxes on income, wealth, etc., (payable) - all compulsory, unrequited payments, in cash or in kind, levied periodically by general government and by the rest of the world on the income and wealth of units in the economy, and some periodic taxes which are assessed neither on income nor wealth

D.6      Social contributions - transfers to households, in cash or in kind, intended to relieve them from the financial burden of a number of risks or needs.

D.7      Other current transfers – includes VAT and GNI based EU budget contributions, current transfers between subsectors of government, current international co-operation and current transfers to households and non-profit institutions.

D.9      Capital transfers - involve the acquisition or disposal of an asset, or assets, by at least one of the parties to the transaction.  Includes capital taxes and investment grants.

 P.1       Total output of Government is equal to market output, own account capital formation, and non-market output (i.e. the sum of D.1+P.2+P51c). The market output referred to in this publication is the imputed market value of social housing rented dwellings. See Table 3.

P.3        Final consumption expenditure of Government is equal to the total of its output (P.1) plus the expenditure on products/services supplied to households via market producers minus the sales of goods and services (at both market and non-market prices). This is made up of individual non-market services plus collective non-market services (P.31 and P.32). See Table 4.  

Categories of financial flows

F.1       Monetary gold and special drawing rights (SDRs)

            F.11     Monetary gold

            F.12     Special drawing rights (SDRs)

F.2       Currency and deposits

            F.21     Currency

            F.22     Transferable deposits

            F.29     Other deposits

F.3       Debt securities

            F.31     Short-term

            F.32     Long-term

F.4       Loans

            F.41 - Short-term loans

            F.42 - Long-term loans

F.5       Equity and investment fund shares

            F.51 Equity

            F.52 Investment fund shares/units

F.6       Insurance pension and standardised guarantee schemes

F.7       Financial derivatives and employee stock options

            F.71     Financial derivatives

            F.72     Employee stock options

F.8       Other accounts receivable/payable

            F.81     Trade credits and advances

            F.89     Other trade credits