Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (224)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

224. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his understanding of the format and function of an expenditure reserve, that is, if this is simply unallocated spending included in the base; if not, if it is placed in a separate fund and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28144/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As outlined in the Summer Economic Statement (SES), the Budget 2020 framework involves a budgetary package of €2.8 billion for next year. Current expenditure pre-commitments relating to demographics, the Public Service Stability Agreement, and the carryover of Budget 2019 measures amount to €1.2 billion with €0.7 billion for additional investment on capital programmes as set out in the NDP. As set out in the SES, as part of the Budget 2020 estimates process, consideration will be given to the funding of additional costs in relation to the National Children’s Hospital and the National Broadband Plan reflecting the most up-to-date position relating to capital spending at the time. Given these potential additional costs, the SES includes an expenditure reserve of up to €0.2 billion for 2020 to accommodate funding requirements for the National Broadband Plan and the National Children’s Hospital. This expenditure reserve represents the potential additional funding that may need to be met for these projects next year from within the overall budgetary package of €2.8 billion. Consequently, after taking account of the expenditure pre-commitments of €1.9 billion and the expenditure reserve of up to €0.2 billion this leaves €0.7 billion to be specifically allocated as part of Budget 2020. To the extent that the full reserve of €0.2 billion is not required, the amount not utilised from this reserve would increase, from €0.7 billion, the amount available to be specifically allocated as part of the Budget 2020 process.