I thank Deputy Ó Cuív and I acknowledge Deputy Brendan Smith, who spoke to me about this issue yesterday evening. As reported in the Fiscal Monitor, net capital issues to the end of May 2021 amounted to €1.885 billion. This is €408 million, or 17.8%, behind the end-of-May profile of €2.293 billion. Expenditure for the same period in 2020 totalled €2.121 billion. In year-on-year terms, expenditure is €236 million, or just over 11%, below the end of May 2020 position.
The main underspends are the Department of Transport, which was just over €158 million, or 30%, behind profile at the end of May, and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, which is just under €93 million, or almost 17%, behind profile.
In the transport sector, there is a backlog of work because of the Covid-19 restrictions and a later than anticipated allocation to Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The Department of Transport is satisfied that capital expenditure will realign with its profile as the year progresses.
As a result of building site closures during level 5 Covid restrictions, local authority housing is €20 million behind profile. Irish Water is €74 million, or 33%, behind the published profile. The capital contribution was not drawn down as profiled because capital expenditure is progressing slower than anticipated due to a restricted operating environment under Covid health and safety protocols.
It is too early in the year to definitively state whether expenditure will be on profile at year-end. However, my Department will continue to engage with all other Departments throughout the year with regard to expenditure management. Expenditure will continue to be monitored in order to assess the implications of the Covid crisis on capital expenditure profiles.
Last year, an underspend of more than €700 million was carried forward into 2021.