Good morning, folks. As a day starter, please take a note: We are bust! Yesterday’s Exchequer returns are a worthy reading on the theme of the day and hence I am writing a third post on the subject. Let me recap where we are at:
Tax receipts are now under €17.2bn cumulative for the first seven months of the year. As far as our ‘ever optimistic’ official analysts go, things are going on swimmingly. But in reality, we are on track to meet my December 2009 forecast for a shortfall of €500-700mln on the year. And that despite the fact that Ireland has ‘turned the corner’ on growth – highlighting the fact that the read through from GDP to tax revenue is not a straight forward thing. Of course, most of the shortfall is due to our real economic activity – as measured by GNP – is still tanking.
So relative to profile, here’s the picture:Good news on expenditure – overall voted expenditure was 2.6% below anticipated for the period to July. But this ‘achievement’ was driven solely by the cuts to capital spending. Thus, net voted capital expenditure for the first seven months of the year now stands at €2.2bn – full €660mln (-23%) below target. Net voted current expenditure is so far on target, while national debt is costing us slightly less (-€213mln) than DofF anticipated.
So overall, we are on track to deliver the Exchequer deficit of ca €19bn in 2010, close to the target €18.78bn, as capital spending accelerates in H2 2010. But we won’t reach the overall target to GDP. Most likely, we are going to see a 12% deficit to GDP ratio.
And this does not include the full extent of funding for Anglo and INBS. Brian Lenihan has already committed the state to supply €22bn to Anglo alone, of which €14.2bn was already allocated, but only ca €4bn went on the Exchequer accounts. Of the still outstanding €7.8bn, the question is how much of this amount is going to be directly shouldered by official deficit figures. The second question is – will €22bn cover Anglo demand for capital post Nama Tranches II and III transfers – recall that Anglo is yet to move loans for Tranche II. The third question now relates to AIB – given its interim result announced yesterday, one has to wonder if the bank will need more capital. What is beyond question now is that the State will be standing buy with a cheque book ready, should AIB ask for cash.
All in, Ireland Inc’s sovereign accounts this year are likely to come out with a 20% plus deficit relative to GDP. That’s a massive number implying that over a quarter of domestic economy will be accounted for by the shortfall in public finances. Our debt can easily reach over 87% of GDP and close to 110% of GNP (and that’s just including the full Anglo amount of €22bn and excluding Nama and the rest of recapitalizations liabilities).
Scary thought. But don’t worry – the Government will come out to say that it was all due to one-off measures. One-off in 2008, 2009, 2010, and one can rationally expect 2011 and even possibly 2012. By which time Nama liabilities will begin to unwind… serializing the one-offs into the future.