May 15, 2020 / 7:49 AM / 15 days ago

Irish budget deficit growing beyond initial assessment - minister

DUBLIN, May 15 (Reuters) - Ireland’s budget deficit for 2020 is, as expected, growing considerably beyond an initial assessment made last month, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Friday.

Donohoe’s department forecast the deficit would hit 23 billion euros, or 7.4% of GDP, based on spending commitments made at the time, but could rise to 25 to 30 billion depending on the speed of the recovery and scale of government intervention.

“I said on the basis of decisions that I expected we would be making in the coming weeks, and on the basis of bills that are now coming in because of public health decisions, I did indicate that I expected it would grow considerably beyond that, and that is happening,” Donohoe told the Newstalk radio station. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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