Ireland’s Family Businesses Call for Examination of Public Expenditure

Family Business Network Ireland’s Submission for Budget 2024 Calls for the Establishment of a Commission on Public Expenditure


6th September 2023The Family Business Network (FBN), the organization representing family-owned businesses throughout Ireland, has today called for the establishment of a Commission on Public Expenditure to comprehensively examine the allocation and utilization of the State’s revenue.

FBN’s pre-Budget submission, released today, highlights the unprecedented rate at which State expenditure has risen over the past decade.  The submission argues that expenditures have ballooned without ensuring value for the State’s money and have been resulted in excessively high levels of taxation on individuals and businesses. These high rates of taxation were initially introduced during a period of unprecedented economic crisis to secure what were then perilous public finances. Given the evolving economic landscape and currently robust exchequer receipts, FBN argues that it is now crucial to review and rationalize public expenditure to ensure it aligns with the State’s current needs and long-term fiscal health.

Commenting today, John McGrane, Executive Director of the Family Business Network, said: “Family-run businesses in every constituency combine to deliver the most stable source of the State’s tax income including corporation taxes, local rates, income taxes and PRSI. Last year’s Commission on Taxation and Welfare turned out to be a missed opportunity. Instead of providing a comprehensive evaluation of both our taxation and expenditure, it focused solely on generating additional revenue, without examining our outgoings.”

“As our national spending surges, it is vital that robust checks and balances are in place to examine how and where it is being spent. The workers and businesses who pay the taxes that are funding this growth in expenditure deserve to see that it is being spent efficiently and effectively. A Commission on Public Expenditure would be an appropriate mechanism to provide transparency and accountability, and to ensure that taxpayers get the best value for their money.”

“The recent Summer Economic Statement has confirmed that, for the third consecutive year, public spending will exceed this Government’s own self-imposed 5% cap, again emphasising the need for better governance and value for taxpayers’ money.  We all agree what we want to invest in, but we also agree we should at least not jeopardise public services by spending scarce funds badly.   We cannot squander the opportunity, while we have it, to look at where all the public’s money goes, eliminate wasteful spending and fix the roof while the sun is shining”.

The call for the establishment of a Spending Commission is one of eleven recommendations presented to the Government in the Family Business Network’s submission to Budget 2024. The submission centres around sustaining indigenous businesses throughout Ireland and addressing capacity issues in the economy. It also calls for the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund to invest windfall Corporation Tax receipts. The full submission, which outlines detailed recommendations and rationale, can be accessed here.

These issues will be discussed in detail at FBN’s National Conference 2023, taking place at the Radisson Blu, Dublin Airport on October 18th.



For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Aidan Finnegan : / 086 459 5203


About the Family Business Network of Ireland (FBN)

The Family Business Network of Ireland (FBN) was founded in 2013 by leading Irish business families. It represents family businesses throughout the country and has members from a broad variety of sectors, all essential to supporting and driving the Irish economy. Family businesses contribute over 50% of Ireland’s GDP, employ nearly a million people across every town and village in the country and provide billions of euros to the exchequer annually.