Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (114)

Seán Fleming


114. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the outturn for Exchequer capital spending in each year from 2008 to 2012, inclusive; the Revised Estimate for Exchequer capital spending in 2013 and 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29786/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The information sought by the Deputy in relation to the years 2008 to 2013 can be found on the databank website hosted by my Department, The databank contains a comprehensive set of data on public expenditure in Ireland. The capital allocation for 2014, as published in the Revised Book of Estimates, is €3,229 million.

As the Deputy is aware, the Exchequer capital plan has, by necessity, been reduced in recent years to contribute to fiscal consolidation. However, it is important to note that since the publication of “Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2012-2016: Medium Term Exchequer Framework” in November 2011 no further cuts have been made to the capital programme. That publication was the result of a major review of capital expenditure. It prioritised investment in infrastructure which would be most beneficial to supporting economic growth, thereby supporting sustainable employment growth in the medium term, meeting urgent social needs and maintaining our existing stock of infrastructure. It also took account of the fact that €70 billion had been invested in the previous decade.

At the time of publication of the report I noted that, should a funding source become available, there was much more that I wanted to deliver through investment in infrastructure. The deal I negotiated with the Troika with regard to the proceeds from the sale of State assets and the recovery of the PPP market are allowing us to now progress additional projects which we could not include in the 5 year framework.

In July 2012, I announced a Stimulus Plan of €2.25bn, comprising a €1.4bn PPP programme and an Exchequer element of €850m. The latter is to be funded from some of the proceeds from the sale of State assets and the new licencing arrangement for the National Lottery. On 5th June, as a follow up to last year’s Stimulus Plan, I announced Exchequer investment of €150m to fund school building projects, local and regional road maintenance and retrofitting of Local Authority housing. This €150m investment is additional to that included in the existing budget. I expect that approximately €70 million of this additional funding will be spent this year, with most of the remainder being spent in 2014 and a small amount in 2015.