Expenditure Report 2020 outlined the requirement for Supplementary Estimates for a number of Votes in 2019. These supplementary provisions arise as a result of policy decisions, including the provision of a 100% Christmas bonus, and expenditure pressures, particularly in the health sector. At that point, it was estimated that the aggregate amount required for Supplementary Estimates would be approximately €660 million.
At this week's Government meeting, 11 Supplementary Estimates were agreed. With the agreement of the Business Committee, it is proposed that these Supplementary Estimates will be presented to Dáil Éireann next week for referral to the relevant committees, before returning to the Dáil to be voted on in December. Eight of the 11 are substantive Supplementary Estimates, namely, those relating to the Chief State Solicitor's office, the Department of Finance, An Garda Síochána, the Department of Justice and Equality, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Army pensions, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The remaining three are technical Supplementary Estimates relating to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The total amount being sought in these Supplementary Estimates is €204 million.
The expenditure report outlined that there would be a requirement for Supplementary Estimates in health, education and to fund Brexit-related expenditure to ensure the relevant authorities are in a position to carry out necessary compliance checks at ports and at Dublin Airport. The aggregate amount outlined in the report across these three headings is €450 million. It is planned to seek Government agreement for presentation of these Supplementary Estimates next week when the amounts required are finalised. In addition, any further Supplementary Estimates, which would be of a minor or technical nature, will also be finalised for next week.
As set out in the expenditure report, the main driver of the increase in the projected outturn for this year is health expenditure. The budget challenges for that sector relate to demand-led pressures in key service areas, primarily in acute hospitals, in both pay and non-pay areas, in services for older persons and persons with disabilities, and in hi-tech drugs, State claims and pensions budget lines.