Ireland is likely to run a budget deficit at the upper end of a 25 to 30 billion euro range this year as a result of the unprecedented fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said on Friday.
While Ireland has collected far more tax so far this year than it expected early in the pandemic, government spending is up 28% year-on-year. A deficit of 30 billion euros equated to 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) when the finance department published its most recent projections in April.
Varadkar, Ireland's business minister, told a conference that the government must focus on the hardest-hit industries such as aviation and live events in October's budget for 2021 "to make sure they are still around" after the crisis. (Reuters)