Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (95, 97, 98, 99, 101, 102, 105)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

95. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in the context of the objectives set out by his Department in terms of the curtailment of public expenditure and reform when he took up office two and a half years ago, the extent to which he has succeeded in meeting those objectives with particular reference to the benefit and stabilisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42741/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

97. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he expects to be in a position to meet in full all the targets set and agreed by the troika for the current year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42743/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

98. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the net benefits to date to the Exchequer in terms of cost reductions achieved in line with the troika agreement in general; the extent to which these are in line with targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42744/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

99. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he expects to be in a position to achieve budgetary curtailments required in the coming year without impacting on staffing levels or quality of service throughout the public sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42745/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

101. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which he and his Department has evaluated the likely benefits to the economy arising from achievements in expenditure strategy over the past two years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42747/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

102. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which targets set for each Government Department in terms of public expenditure and reform have been met in full in each of the past three years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42748/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

105. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he and his Department have identified cost overruns or the potential for such throughout various Government Departments; the extent to which it has been found possible to take corrective action; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42751/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 95, 97 to 99, inclusive, 101, 102 and 105 together.

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. A new Comprehensive Review of Expenditure exercise will be carried out early next year.

The Expenditure Report 2013 was published on 5 December 2012 and included further well-specified expenditure savings measures across every area of Government spending. The Government policy on Budget 2014 measures is currently being finalised and the Budget announcement will be made on the 15th of October 2013.

The EU-IMF Programme of Financial Support is subject to policy conditionality which is set out in programme documents - the Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality (MOU), the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) and the Technical Memorandum of Understanding. The conditionality in these documents is subject to continuing assessment by the Irish Authorities and the EU, IMF, ECB (the Troika) to ensure the broad programme objectives are met. Such assessment is undertaken at the quarterly reviews. 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. We are in the final year of the EU-IMF Programme of Financial Support and having successfully concluded the eleventh review mission of our EU-IMF Programme the data released in the Exchequer Statement on 2 October indicates that the Exchequer primary deficit target was met for the twelfth consecutive quarter. In line with each of the previous quarterly reviews, Ireland has met all quantitative fiscal targets and our continued strong programme implementation has been recognised by the Troika.

Question No. 96 answered with Question No. 30.

Questions Nos. 97 to 99, inclusive, answered with Question No. 95.