Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (22)

Seán Fleming

Question:

22. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the budget planning process for budget 2015 has commenced; the priorities that he has set for the next budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23702/14]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Following on from Ireland's successful exit from the Troika programme in December last, the Government's fiscal target for 2015 is to bring the General Government Deficit below 3 of GDP, in line with our commitments under the Excessive Deficit Procedure.

In order to help ensure that we achieve the deficit target for 2015, the Expenditure Report 2014 (as published on Budget Day in October 2013) set out gross voted current and capital expenditure ceilings for future years including 2015.

I announced at Budget time that our second 3-yearly Comprehensive Review of Expenditure would be carried out this year to help inform the setting of expenditure ceilings for 2015, 2016 and 2017.  This review is now underway and will be a focused examination of expenditure by all Departments, taking account of Government spending priorities in order to identify areas of potential savings and efficiencies.  In parallel, a separate Review of Capital Expenditure is also being conducted with a view to realigning future investment priorities and to reset the medium-term capital envelopes for the next five years.

The Comprehensive Review of Expenditure and the Review of Capital Expenditure will inform discussions in relation to Budget 2015, including Government decisions on the expenditure ceilings for the years ahead, and will underpin decisions on the specific expenditure measures required to meet our fiscal targets for 2015.  Decisions on the Budget will be informed by the up-to-date economic and fiscal outlook at that time.