Irish 2020 budget deficit may be at lower end of forecast range - minister

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s budget deficit for this year may come in at the lower end of the 25 to 30 billion euros (22.65 billion pounds to $27.18 billion pounds) forecast early in the coronavirus pandemic, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said on Sunday.

Ireland has collected much more tax so far this year than it expected when the forecasts were made in April. A deficit of 30 billion euros equated to 10% of gross domestic product at that time, although the finance ministry now estimates the hit to GDP will be far less severe than initially thought.

“We are going to incur a very large budget deficit this year of perhaps the lower end of the range we signaled earlier in the year of between 25 and 30 billion euro. Next year’s deficit is not going to be as large but it will be very large too,” McGrath told national broadcaster RTE.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Toby Chopra