Thursday, 20 June 2019

Questions (33)

Barry Cowen


33. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the potential overspend at the Department of Health; his further views on whether there will be a supplementary estimate for the Department in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25801/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Managing expenditure within the overall fiscal parameters has been a key factor in ensuring that our fiscal targets have been achieved. A key responsibility of each Minister and Department is delivering public services efficiently and effectively within their budgetary allocations. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is in regular contact with all other Departments and Offices including the Department of Health to ensure that expenditure is being managed in line with not only Departmental allocations but also within the overall fiscal parameters. Each month, the drawdown of funds from the Exchequer is reported on against published expenditure profiles in the Fiscal Monitor, published by the Department of Finance.

As set out in the most recent Fiscal Monitor, published by the Department of Finance, total gross voted expenditure at end-May 2019 was just over €26 billion. This is €145 million, or 0.6% below profile. Gross voted current expenditure of €24.2 billion, is €65 million, or 0.3% below profile. Of the 17 Ministerial Vote groups, 12 are below profile on current expenditure for end-May. Gross voted capital expenditure of €1.8 billion, is €98 million, or 4.1% below profile. 

In year-on-year terms total gross expenditure is 8.2% or nearly €2 billion higher than the same period in 2018. Of this increase, gross current expenditure is up just over €1.5 billion. A key driver of this year-on-year increase in current expenditure is day to day Health spending. Gross current expenditure of €6.9 billion by Health is €559 million or 8.9% higher than the same period in 2018.  This is compared to the overall increase of 5.8% budgeted for the full year and illustrates the challenge and the need for staffing and savings measures to be proactively managed by the Department of Health if the requirement for a Supplementary Estimate in the sector is to be avoided this year.