Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Questions (167)

Joan Burton

Question:

167. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the Departments, agencies and individual votes the €0.5 billion in demographic costs as outlined in the SES will be allocated to in tabular form; if he will provide a copy of specific reports submitted to him from individual Departments outlining the demographic requirements in each case; the breakdown by Department and sector for the hiring of additional staff or the expansion of existing schemes in each case; the projected demographic requirements in each of the years 2021 to 2024; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30279/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Current estimates of certain demographic pressures in the areas of Health, Social Protection and Education were set out in Expenditure Report 2019 and included in the pre-committed current expenditure baseline for the period to 2021. These costs are set out again on an aggregate level in the recently published Summer Economic Statement. For 2020 and 2021, an allocation of €0.5 billion is set out to meet demographic pressures. The amounts allocated for 2020 are set out in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Estimated Demographic Pressures 2020

Department

€m

Health

137

Employment Affairs and Social Protection

260

Education

54

Total

451

These allocations are informed by the paper ‘Budgetary Impacts of Changing Demographics 2017 – 2027’, published by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES). The paper can be found on the IGEES website here: https://igees.gov.ie/budgetary-impact-of-changing-demographics-2017-to-2027/ .

This paper covers a number of areas of expenditure, including pensions, child benefit, education provision and health schemes such as the Nursing Home Support Scheme. These pure demographic costs are factored in to Ministerial Expenditure Ceilings for Health, Social Protection and Education.

As part of the 2019 Spending Review process, an update of this paper is due to be published in the coming months. This forthcoming paper will again look at the key areas of Health, Social Protection and Education and will examine demographic pressures in these areas over a ten year period. In light of this publication, demographic estimates will be reassessed as part of the Estimates 2020 process.