Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (85)

Thomas P. Broughan


85. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will report on the overall trend in Government net policy spending since Quarter 1 2015 down to Quarter 3 2019; the way in which he expects this trend to evolve in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39367/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As outlined in the Mid-Year Expenditure Report, compared to the 2014 outturn, current expenditure on the delivery of public services and social supports in 2019 is set to have increased by 19% over this five year period. This level of increase in voted current expenditure is significantly below that seen in the period leading up to the fiscal and economic crisis. Over the period between the end of 2004 and 2009 gross voted current expenditure grew by 57%.

A targeted approach has seen additional funding directed towards priority areas. Gross voted current expenditure on Health, after adjusting for the disestablishment of the HSE Vote, has risen by over €4 billion or over 30%. Housing programme current expenditure has increased by almost €1 billion or over 200%.

Over the last five years, in order to enhance the resilience and growth capacity of the economy, significant additional resources have been made available for capital expenditure. Indeed, Exchequer capital investment, which represented under 7 per cent of total voted expenditure in 2014, accounts for a quarter of the overall expenditure increase in this five year period, with gross voted capital expenditure having increased by 90%. Total capital investment of €25 billion in this period has supported the delivery of economic and social infrastructure and the creation of jobs.

In recent Budgets, in order to increase the resources available for spending increases tax raising measures have been introduced. Indeed, as outlined in the Mid-Year Expenditure Report, over the period 2017 to 2019, as a result of tax raising measures and the non-utilisation of the full available fiscal space for tax measures an additional €1.9 billion was made available for expenditure increases over and above that originally planned in the 2016 Summer Economic Statement.

In light of the current position in relation to the UK's exit from the EU, Budget 2020 will be based on the assumption of a no-deal Brexit. Underlying this decision is the need to ensure the Government has the necessary resources at its disposal to meet the impact of the Brexit challenge, whilst preserving the longer-term sustainability of the public finances. This strategy involves a ‘twin-track’ approach of providing funding for key public services and also supporting the sectors and regions most exposed to Brexit related disruption.