Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Ceisteanna (92)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

92. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the forecasts for the trajectory of certain demographic related costs over the next 20 years and beyond, for example, the State social welfare pension bill, nursing home care, care of the elderly at home and health related costs from an ageing population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22224/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Expenditure Report 2019 sets out the revised baseline for current expenditure out to 2021 after taking account a number of known pre-commitments. Inclusive in this are estimates of certain demographic pressures in areas of Health, Social Protection and Education. An allocation of an additional €0.45 billion is set out for these measures in both 2020 and 2021. These allocations are informed by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) paper ‘Budgetary Impacts of Changing Demographics 2017 – 2027’, which can be found on the IGEES website here: https://igees.gov.ie/budgetary-impact-of-changing-demographics-2017-to-2027/. Areas of expenditure covered by this paper include, among others: child benefit, education provision, pensions, the Nursing Home Support Scheme and the Primary Care Reimbursement Scheme and these pure demographic costs are included in multi-annual Ministerial expenditure ceilings for Health, Social Protection and Education.

Beyond 2022, the IGEES paper suggests demographic costs of approximately €0.4 billion per year out to 2027. However, an update of this paper is due to be published as part of the 2019 Spending Review process. This update will discuss demographic pressures over a ten year period and will focus on the areas of Health, Social Protection and Education as three primary areas of current expenditure which are particularly impacted by demographic changes.

Another relevant document is 'Population Ageing and the Public Finances in Ireland' published by the Department of Finance in 2018, which can be found at:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2e8463-population-ageing-and-the-public-finances/.

The above paper focusses specifically on the impact of demographic trends on the public finances in Ireland over the longer term. Table 24 in Chapter 8 of the recently published Stability Programme Update outlines long-term spending projections of age-related expenditure as a share of GNI*.