When this Government started in 2011, we had a second budget – a mini-budget – that year. In 2009, we had a kind of major budget to address the deficiencies in the 2008 budget. If there is a general election this year, it is probably inevitable that we will have a second budget. After the revisions and rescheduling that we discussed in the House last week, is it not likely that regardless of what happens on Brexit, the Government, if it is still in office, will have to come forward with another budget?
At the beginning of December 2015, Deputy Tommy Broughan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on concerns that Dáil Éireann does not have an Estimates Committee as is the norm in other European Union democracies and the steps he was taking with the Ceann Comhairle, An Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance to establish such a committee. The Parliamentary Question was in response to the OECD report which found that our Oireachtas budget oversight was ‘under-developed by international standards’, yet the question was disallowed by Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett, who stated that “the Minister has no official responsibility to Dáil Éireann for this matter which is a matter for the Houses of the Oireachtas itself”.