The net Exchequer provision as published in the Expenditure Report 2014 is €732.07 million. This allocation will ensure that my Department and its agencies will continue to deliver a full suite of programmes of activity and supports in respect of the 3 Programme Areas of Jobs and Enterprise; Innovation; and Regulation, at a further reduced cost to the taxpayer. It will also help to ensure that the Government maintains its adherence to the EU/IMF Consolidation Programme and return the public finances to a sound footing.
In line with commitments under the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure, my Department and its Agencies will deliver over €13m in efficiency savings in respect of 2014. This significant level of savings comes in addition to savings that are being delivered under the Haddington Road Agreement, as well as various items of expenditure no longer included in my Department's Estimate in 2014, such as costs associated with Ireland's Presidency of the EU.
These savings will be delivered at the Departmental level through administrative efficiency measures and changes to business processes. Further savings will also be delivered by the Agencies under the aegis of my Department through administrative and operational efficiencies, rationalisation measures and reprioritisation of spending in respect of a number of projects.
The 2014 funding provision will enable the Department and agencies to provide continued supports for the full range of vital job measures that have proved instrumental in turning around the jobs market and getting growth into the economy over the past two years, such as:
- Delivery of measures under Action Plan for Jobs 2014.
- IDA will target approximately 12,000 new jobs in 2014 whilst maintaining supports to its client base which currently employs over 260,000 people in Ireland.
- Enterprise Ireland will target 12,000 new jobs and generate €17.5billion in exports. The Agency will also support 95 new High Potential Start-Up companies with commitments to create 2,100 new jobs.
- Over €300 million in research and innovation funding supports through Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, the Higher Education Authority, Tyndall National Institute and Ireland's participation in the European Space Agency. These supports will leverage well in excess of €100 million in research funding to Ireland from non-exchequer sources next year from the likes of the EU and industry partners.
- An additional €3.5 million in supports for business start-ups and entrepreneurial supports by Enterprise Ireland through the County Enterprise Boards/Local Enterprise Offices network in 2014.
In conclusion, I am satisfied that the provision in the 2014 Expenditure Report, enhanced by any additional provision accruing from the carryover of capital savings in 2013, will ensure that the requisite supports are in place in my Department to continue the work in turning around the jobs market and returning growth to the economy.