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Departmental Expenditure

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 20 January 2022

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Questions (64)

Willie O'Dea


64. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount of allocated funds that went unspent in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2549/22]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Total gross voted expenditure for 2021, as reported in the December Fiscal Monitor, amounted to €87,542 million. This comprised almost €77.6 billion in current spending and over €9.9 billion in capital expenditure. This level of expenditure is nearly €2.3 billion or 2.6% higher than expenditure in 2020.

The total gross amount allocated to Ministerial Vote Groups for 2021 was €88.9 billion. This included original allocations of €82.4 billion made in the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2021 (REV) in December 2020, with €72.3 billion in current and €10.1 billion in capital allocations to Departments set out at that time. The REV also included provision for €5.4 billion in contingency funding to respond to the impacts of Covid-19, which was held in reserve rather than allocated at Departmental level in order to allow Government flexibility to respond as needed over the year. This unallocated funding brought the overall Government Expenditure Ceiling for 2021 to €87.8 billion.   

During 2021, as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact following the resurgence of the virus at the end of 2020, additional funding for key response measures was allocated to Departments through Further Revised Estimates and Supplementary Estimates. These additional allocations totalled €6½ billion and were met through using in full the contingency funding that had been set aside and providing additional funding of €1.1 billion which increased the Government Expenditure Ceiling to the end year total of €88.9 billion. Compared to this €88.9 billion overall allocation, the end-December spending position was almost €1.4 billion or 1.5% lower than profiled.

For the current expenditure element of overall gross spending, the end-December issues figure of €77,596 million was €795 million or 1.0% below the full year allocation which stood at almost €78.4 billion. Compared to end-2020, current expenditure in 2021 was higher by almost €2 billion or 2.6%.

With regard to capital expenditure, gross voted capital expenditure of €9,946 million was €580 million or 5.5% below the allocation for the year of €10.5 billion. This record €9.9 billion in gross capital expenditure reflects the continued growth in capital investment under the National Development Plan.

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted on the spending plans of Departments in 2021, particularly for capital expenditure where level 5 restrictions in the earlier part of the year had knock-on impacts for infrastructure delivery across a number of departments.

In net terms, the total net voted expenditure to end-December 2021 amounted to €71,579 million. This was €1,480 million or 2.0% below the full year allocation for 2021 in the Estimates voted by the Dáil and €3,730 million or 5.5% ahead on the same period in 2020.