The Comprehensive Expenditure Report 2012-2014, published in December 2011, introduced a Medium Term Expenditure Framework which set out multi-annual expenditure ceilings on a rolling three year basis. It was envisaged that this reform would facilitate Dáil Committees in engaging in constructive dialogue with Ministers and Departments and input their views on which areas of spending should be prioritised in advance of the Budget each year. These viewpoints can then inform the Government in bringing forward its detailed Estimates for the year in question.
The Expenditure Report 2013, published 5 December 2012, included Departmental level current expenditure ceilings for 2014 which the Oireachtas Committees can consider. While it is a matter for the Ceann Comhairle and the Oireachtas to determine the timing, in the first instance, I would be hopeful that Committees can begin their ex ante look at the future spending of Departments, in the context of the expenditure ceilings already set out, before the summer.
The full Estimates for 2014 will be set out, as usual, at the time of the Budget later this year after detailed discussions have been taken by Government.