Following a period of consolidation after the economic crisis, over the last number of years there has been modest growth in expenditure. Compared to the end 2014 outturn, gross voted expenditure in 2019 is profiled to be 25% higher as set out in section 2.2 of the Budget 2019 Expenditure Report. Indeed, in 2019, €66.6 billion has been allocated to gross voted expenditure. In absolute terms this is higher than the outturn of just over €63 billion in 2009. Recent increases in voted expenditure have been significantly more modest than what was seen in the pre-consolidation period, with gross voted expenditure growing by nearly 55% between 2004 and 2009.
This Government has delivered budgetary strategies based on steady increases in public expenditure underpinned by stable and predictable tax revenue. The Government has prioritised spending that mitigates risk, enhances the resilience of the economy and raises our growth capacity whilst making incremental and sustainable improvements in public services. The steady growth in expenditure in recent years reflects the significant effort made by this Government to moderate the level of expenditure increases and to secure a sustainable long-term path to growth.
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.