Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (76)

Bernard Durkan


76. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he has identified Departments likely to overrun on capital or current spending; his action in regard to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39519/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Estimates for Public Services 2019 set out total gross voted expenditure of €66.6 billion for this year. Of this, €59.3 billion is gross voted current expenditure, while €7.3 billion is gross voted capital expenditure.

The effective and efficient delivery of public services within budgetary allocations is a key responsibility of each Minister and Department. In relation to spending, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is in regular contact with all other Departments and Offices to ensure that expenditure is being managed within the overall fiscal parameters. The drawdown of funds from the Exchequer is reported on each month against expenditure profiles in the Fiscal Monitor published by the Department of Finance.

As set out in the most recent Fiscal Monitor, total gross voted expenditure at end-August 2019 was €42,015 million. This is €262 million, or 0.6%, below profile. Gross voted current expenditure of €38,653 million, is €132 million, or 0.3% below profile. Of the 17 Ministerial Vote groups, 14 are on or below profile on current expenditure for end-August. Gross voted capital expenditure of €3,362 million, is €130 million, or 3.7% below profile and up €683 million, or 25.5% on the same period last year. The end-September Fiscal monitor will be published later this week.

At this stage in the year, it is too early to definitively state what the requirement for Supplementary Estimates will be at year-end. Expenditure Report 2020, which will be published on Budget Day, will set out an initial assessment of any necessary additional expenditure for 2019. This would take into account any policy decisions, such as relating to a Social Welfare Christmas Bonus, and any emerging expenditure pressures. While the end-August position is encouraging, there is a particular challenge in the Health sector, where the year-on-year increase to the end of August illustrates the challenge and the need for staffing and savings measures to be proactively managed by the Department of Health. There are also potential pressures in the areas of Justice and Education.