Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (241)

Barry Cowen

Question:

241. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount designated for demographics in each budget since budget 2017; if an ex-post analysis has been undertaken to assess the validity of these figures; if there will be a new analysis undertaken by IGEES on demographics; if it will cover all Departments as against just Health, Employment Affairs and Social Protection and Education and Skills; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31059/19]

View answer

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. 

The amounts allocated for demographics and included in the relevant pre-Budget expenditure position for the Departments of Health, Social Protection and Education from 2018 to 2020 are set out in the following table.

Estimated Demographic Pressures 2018 to 2020 (€m)

 

2018

2019

2020

Health

118

123

137

Employment Affairs and Social   Protection

233

241

260

Education

57

49

54

Total

408

413

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.