I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Deputy Calleary on his recent appointment. I am delighted to see him opposite me. It is well deserved and it is a great honour that I have the deputy leader of Fianna Fáil as my spokesperson. I am very pleased to have him and welcome him.
The revised Estimates for 2018 in respect of the Department of Rural and Community Development set out gross capital expenditure of €87.5 million and current expenditure of €144 million for the Department. The capital expenditure is supplemented by €7.7 million capital which was carried forward from 2017.
As of 7 December 2018, €73.7 million of my Department's capital allocation and €135.4 million of the current allocation has been spent. There remains €21.5 million in capital expenditure and €8.6 million in current expenditure to be spent before the end of the year.
Close monitoring of expenditure is a matter of significant priority for my Department so as to ensure full use of our allocated resources and that value for money is delivered in respect of all our funding. I have already identified areas where some capital programmes are unlikely to spend their full allocation this year. For example, while LEADER activity is ramping up and a healthy pipeline of projects has been approved, the programme will not require its full allocation this year.
I have been proactive in reallocating resources where possible. For example, I have already expanded the community enhancement programme this year, increased investment in libraries, and provided additional support to fund the local improvement schemes, LIS. I have also supported the development of Coillte trails, Tidy Towns, agricultural shows and men's shed organisations.
The progress being made with regard to payments is clear. Almost €35 million in capital expenditure was paid out in October and November. I will continue to closely monitor expenditure over the final weeks of this year to ensure our resources are fully used, delivering for all communities and for rural Ireland.