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 a range 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 Irish Government's commitment to the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support remains firm as is clearly illustrated by our continued strong record in implementing the agreed policy frameworks and measures while meeting all quantitative targets. Indeed, data released in the Exchequer Statement of 2 October, indicated that the Exchequer primary deficit target outlined in the EU/IMF Programme was met for the twelfth consecutive quarter. It is the Government’s intention to achieve a successful and durable exit from our programme and to make a full and sustainable return to the financial markets.