Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.

Jan O'Sullivan


47 Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Science the full range of cutbacks or spending adjustment agreed by his Department arising from requests from the Department of Finance to cut back on expenditure; if further cuts or adjustments are planned before the end of 2002; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21735/02]

As part of a mid-year expenditure review initiated by the Department of Finance, my Department identified expenditure savings of €52 million as a contribution to keeping Government expenditure within the limits set down in the budget and the Revised Estimates 2002.

Apart from an increase in third level student registration charges, the savings arise in the main from a slower than anticipated rate of development of initiatives and new programmes in the education sector. The main areas involved were ICT and research and development programmes, teacher recruitment, school retention and back to education initiatives, access programmes and structural reform of my Department.
The position regarding possible adjustments that may be required for the last months of 2002 is being monitored closely and is the subject of ongoing discussions with the Department of Finance. While there are expenditure pressures in certain demand led areas, I am keeping the situation under review and will make adjustments, if necessary, nearer the end of the year.