Thursday, 20 June 2019

Questions (97, 98)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

97. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which he continues to monitor expenditure throughout all Departments or the agencies under their remit with a view to ensuring adherence to budgetary strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26026/19]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

98. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if indicators are providing an estimation of the need to curtail expenditure of specific areas to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26027/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 97 and 98 together.

Managing the delivery of public services within allocations is a key responsibility of each Minister and Department. Important measures are in place to ensure that our expenditure targets are being achieved. Officials in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are in regular contact with all other Departments and offices to ensure that expenditure is being managed within the overall fiscal parameters and there is regular reporting to Government on expenditure levels. Expenditure profiles are published for each month and the drawdown of funds from the Exchequer is monitored throughout the year and reported on against profile on a monthly basis in the Exchequer Statement.

As set out in the most recent Fiscal Monitor, published by the Department of Finance, total gross voted expenditure at end-May 2019 was €26,066 million. This is €145 million, or 0.6% below profile and €1,967 million, or 8.2 % up in year-on-year terms. Gross voted current expenditure of €24,184 million, is €65 million, or 0.3% below profile and €1,513 million, or 6.7% up in year-on-year terms. Of the 17 Ministerial Vote groups, 12 are on or below profile on current expenditure for end-May. Gross voted capital expenditure of €1,833 million, is €81 million, or 4.1% below profile and up €454 million, or 31.8% on the same period last year.

A key driver of the year-on-year increase in current expenditure to end-May is day-to-day spending on Health. While gross current expenditure of €6.9 billion by Health is below profile for May, in year-on-year terms it is an increase of €559 million or 8.9% compared to the same period in 2018. Given that the budgeted increase for the full year is 5.8%, this demonstrates the need for careful management in the remainder of the year and the requirement for staffing and savings measures to be proactively managed by the Department of Health.