Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (117)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

117. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which costs have been reduced by means, other than wages or salary cuts, across each Department in each of the past five years to date; the extent to which this corresponds with targets set in the troika agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29935/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Government continues to make good progress on achieving all of our deficit targets and priorities, as articulated in the Government Programme. We are bringing public expenditure back onto a sustainable path and driving forward the public service reform agenda to ensure that efficiencies and reformed work practices play a full part in contributing to the overall budgetary consolidation effort which is essential to achieving our annual deficit targets. To date, all quantitative fiscal targets set as part of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support have been met in full.

Since this Government was established in 2011, a medium-term expenditure management process began with a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure exercise. This exercise was carried out by all Departments in order to identify ways of reducing expenditure in line with commitments under the Joint EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland, while minimising the impact on service delivery.

Following on from this, the Ministerial expenditure ceilings for 2012 - 2014 were introduced on an administrative basis in the Comprehensive Expenditure Report, published in December 2011. The CRE exercise forms the foundation of these ceilings and is the basis for all subsequent decisions on expenditure.

The Expenditure Report 2013 was published on 5 December 2012 and includes further well-specified expenditure savings measures across every area of Government spending. While these structural economic and budgetary reforms that the Government is delivering will bring a return to prosperity and growth over the medium term, the current international economic position combined with the high levels of uncertainty across the world’s financial market will require Ireland to maintain fiscal discipline into 2014.

For a detailed breakdown of Exchequer pay and non-pay spending by Departments, I would refer the Deputy to the Databank available from my Department’s website which can be found at http://databank.per.gov.ie/.