Each year, there are certain categories of expenditure that are treated as pre-committed for the purposes of the Estimates process. In shaping the allocation of resources in budget 2020, these included demographics, public service pay agreements, the carryover of certain budgetary measures and the capital expenditure increases under the national development plan. For 2020, that figure was €451 million, which was allocated in the pre-budget process.
During the Estimates process, a detailed discussion on all expenditure drivers, including demographics, takes place. The figure for 2021 will be €455 million, as it will be for 2022. These are outlined in an IGEES paper, which the Deputy touched on, that examined what these figures would be up to 2027. That paper was updated as part of the budget 2020 process.
We need to keep this matter under review. One of the issues that I am increasingly aware of is that we traditionally view demographics through the lens of the effect that ageing will have on society, both in terms of the number of births and longer lifespans. Now, however, the consequences of both factors are arising across more areas of Government expenditure than just, for example, social protection and education. That people are living for longer has consequences for health expenditure and the end-of-life supports that are required. When examining these matters, I want the next Dáil to assess those demographic figures in light of my experience in budget 2020.