Managing expenditure within allocations is a key responsibility of every Department and Minister. A number of measures are in place to ensure that expenditure and budgetary targets are being achieved on an ongoing basis. There is regular reporting to Government on expenditure levels and expenditure profiles, which are published every month. The drawdown of funds from the Exchequer is monitored throughout the year and reported on against profile on a monthly basis in the Fiscal Monitor.
As set out in the most recent Fiscal Monitor, total gross voted expenditure at end-August was €42.015 billion. This is €262 million, or 0.6%, below profile. Gross voted expenditure is 0.3% below profile. Of the 17 ministerial Vote groups, 14 are on or below profile on current expenditure for the end of August. Gross voted capital expenditure is €130 million, or 3.7%, below profile but up €683 million, or a quarter percentage versus the same period a year ago. The end of September figures will be published later this week.
Due to the scale of Government expenditure, which is over €66 billion in aggregate for 2019, and the cash basis of Government accounting, the need for Supplementary Estimates can arise for a number of reasons. This includes in-year policy decisions, timing issues, overspends in particular areas and the need to respond to emerging events where Departments do not have the scope to deliver offsetting savings.
The key issues that were highlighted in the mid-year expenditure report include where we are with the health sector and, in particular, expenditure pressures in the Department of Justice and Equality arising from pressures regarding asylum seeker accommodation.