I propose to take Questions Nos. 311 to 315, inclusive, and 317 together.
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.
Voted expenditure allocations for all Government Departments are published each year in the Revised Estimates Volume, furthermore, expenditure outturn trends since 1994 are also available on my Department’s statistical databank at http://databank.per.gov.ie/.
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. The Deputy might be interested to know that both of these documents, along with an array of other informative reports and data are available on my Department’s website at www.per.gov.ie.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for our EU/IMF Programme of financial assistance was signed in December 2010, and following each of the subsequent quarterly reviews by the Troika, an update of the MoU is agreed. Each update to the MoU can include the protraction or revisions to existing commitments along with new commitments. The Government has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to meeting the targets agreed with our European and IMF partners. Ireland is living up to its end of the bargain by delivering on all the conditions and quantitative fiscal targets set as part of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support by the required deadlines. With regards to other countries, the following web link put together by the European Commission provides an overview of the position of every EU Member State in the EDP: