In my role as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform I am responsible for setting the overall capital allocations across Departments and for monitoring monthly expenditure at a Departmental level. Decisions on how and where those allocations are invested by Departments are a matter, in the first instance, for my Ministerial colleagues.
My Department is engaging with the Department of Health on the topic of the National Children’s Hospital, and how the increased costs of the project will be managed within the overall agreed NDP capital allocations. To that end, the Government has decided that in relation to the 2019 increased costs, €50 million will have to be found within the existing 2019 capital allocation for the Department of Health, with the remaining €49 million to be met by reallocation from within the overall €7.3 billion capital allocation for 2019.
To put this amount into context, the 2019 capital allocation has increased by €1,325 million or just over 22% above the 2018 provisional outturn figures. The Deputy will appreciate that, even with this adjustment, all sectors will still receive substantial additional resources in 2019 to pursue their priority projects. Public investment this year will reach 3.5% of national income (GNI*) compared to an EU average in recent years of 2.7% (GDP).
My officials are currently engaging with the Department of Health on the funding requirements for the National Children's Hospital over the period to 2022. When that engagement is complete, I expect to revert to Government with proposals in relation to how the increased costs of the project will be met, within the existing agreed annual NDP ceilings.
Finally, a major capital projects tracker is available on my Department’s website. The tracker sets out details of the key projects being implemented under the National Development Plan, including expected commencement dates. My Department is currently in the process of updating this projects tracker, informed by the latest information available from Departments, which information will then assist me in developing my proposals for meeting the increased costs of the National Children's Hospital within existing agreed annual NDP ceilings.