That, notwithstanding Standing Order 182(1) or (2) of the Standing Orders of Dáil Éireann relative to Public Business or the Resolution of the Dáil of 19th December, 2018, the following Further Revised Estimate for the Public Services for the year ending 31st December, 2019, be presented to the Dáil and circulated to members on 20th February, 2019, being a date later than that prescribed for the presentation of Estimates, and that the Further Revised Estimates be referred to Select Committees, as appropriate, pursuant to Standing Orders 84A(3)(c) and 182(3).
Vote 9 — Office of the Revenue Commissioner (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 11 — Public Expenditure and Reform (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 13 — Office of Public Works (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 17 — Public Appointments Service (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 18 — National Shared Services Office (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 24 — Justice and Equality (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 29 — Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 31 — Transport, Tourism and Sport (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 33 — Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 34 — Housing, Planning and Local Government (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 38 — Health (Further Revised Estimate).
Vote 42 — Rural and Community Development (Further Revised Estimate).
The Revised Estimates Volume, REV, for public services 2019 presented to the House last December set out the allocation of Government expenditure by Vote for 2019. In total, there is an amount of €66.6 billion in gross voted expenditure allocated in the REV. The vast majority of this provision relates to day-to-day current expenditure, amounting to €59.3 billion, with a further €7.3 billion allocated to capital expenditure.
The current expenditure allocations in REV 2019 reflect Government priorities. Funding for the key day-to-day public services of social protection, health and education combined amounts to almost €47 billion. These three sectors together account for almost 79% of total gross voted current expenditure. A total of €7.3 billion is allocated to capital investment in 2019. This represents an increase of €1.3 billion, or more than 22%, on last year’s outturn. This will play an important role in delivering public infrastructure across Ireland, especially in areas such as social housing, education, including for schools and higher education, healthcare, and transport. Additional funding is being provided for enterprise supports to support economic growth and promote jobs growth in both the domestic and foreign owned sectors. Increased funding is also provided to support investment in areas, including flood defences and climate change mitigation.
I will now turn to some of the key areas. The allocation for health for 2019 is more than €17 billion, reflecting our commitment to supporting our health sector. This represents an increase of more than €1 billion on the amount spent in 2018. Given this level of resourcing, we must continue to ensure that increased resources are matched with higher levels of accountability and transparency.
Housing has also been prioritised for 2019, with an overall allocation to the Vote of €4 billion. This represents a 19% significant increase in year-on-year terms.
This year's allocation to education amounts to €10.8 billion, an increase of more than 5%. This will allow for the recruitment of additional teachers and special needs assistants, and enable a more targeted investment in higher and further education to meet the skills and education needs of the labour market.
An allocation of €20.5 billion has been made to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. This allocation includes provision for the €5 changes in the weekly working age payments. These increases will be implemented over the coming weeks.
In accordance with the revised budgetary timetable introduced at European Union level as part of the two-pack the Estimates for 2019 were required to be published before the end of 2018. In the period since the publication of the REV, my Department has been engaging with the Department of Health and with other Departments on how the increased costs of the national children’s hospital project will be managed within the overall capital allocation for 2019 of €7.3 billion.
The process concluded with the Government deciding last week to make some reallocation decisions. These decisions were made with a view to minimising any disruption in the roll-out and delivery of key projects.
I am presenting Further Revised Estimates to reflect an additional allocation of €75 million in gross capital expenditure for the Department of Health. The increase in the net voted health Estimate is €65 million, as the Department of Education and Skills has agreed to pay in 2019, €10 million of an existing €17 million commitment to higher education facilities in the national children's hospital. As this funding is to come from within the existing overall amount allocated to the higher education capital subhead, it does not give rise to a Further Revised Estimate for the education Vote. The increase in the net voted expenditure amount for health of €65 million is offset by reductions across a number of Departments and includes a rescheduling of €27 million arising in relation to the A5; a rescheduling of €10 million arising in relation to the national forensic science laboratory; an updating of the scheduled drawdown of €16 million from two Project Ireland 2040 funds which are being profiled for expenditure throughout the course of 2019 and 2020, without delays in project planning, design and delivery. There will be a reprofiling of payments of €4 million under certain programmes of investment in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment; a sum of €3 million from the reprofiling of investment under the flood risk management programme of the Office of Public Works, and a revision of the schedule for the draw-down of funding in the public expenditure and reform and finance groups of Votes, totalling €3 million. There will be €2 million through changes to the timing of payments related to certain capital works by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The changes outlined in the Further Revised Estimates amount to less than 1% of the original 2019 capital budget presented in December.
In recent years Ireland has made much progress in delivering projects on time and within budget. In particular, recent years have seen major progress in improving delivery of water and wastewater, roads and public transport projects. Reforms are being considered which are designed to extend the same levels of professionalism and performance across the public capital programme more broadly. In that regard, it is important to note a number of measures which are under way. They are specifically focused on avoiding a repeat of sudden increases in costs associated with the very largest projects. New procedures are being developed in the context of the ongoing review of the public spending code and the new medium-term strategy for the Office of Government Procurement. In particular, I draw the attention of the House to revisions to the public spending code in the following areas. The Government will not pre-commit to the very largest projects until there is clarity on the final tendered cost. Two-stage procurement processes with parallel working will be avoided in most cases and a better premium for risk will be built in for bespoke projects. Consideration has also been given to carrying out external expert reviews to test cost estimates, as well as to linking advisory firm payments with performance.
Over the course of Project Ireland 2040, there will be total investment of approximately €116 billion in key State infrastructural projects. It is important, therefore, to put in place and strengthen structures to mitigate the risk of capital cost overruns in the future. Adopting these measures will help to ensure the right high level of discipline, professionalism and performance in the allocation of the resources of the taxpayer and the provision of capital projects.