As the Deputy is aware, I am responsible for setting the overall multi-annual capital expenditure ceilings and for allocating these resources across Departments. My Department is also subsequently responsible for monitoring expenditure, on a monthly basis, at a departmental level against these agreed ceilings. In this context, the precise schedule of multi-year funding of the national broadband plan will be set out in full in the context of the budgetary process for 2020.
Beyond that, I should explain, as I have on a number of occasions, that the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is the sponsoring agent and the Government is the final sanctioning authority.
It is the responsibility of the sponsoring agency for the national broadband plan, although I will be working closely with that Department, to comply with the provisions of the public spending code.
Where the Government is the sanctioning authority, the public spending code makes it clear that the day-to-day oversight functions of a sanctioning authority revert to the relevant line Department which is the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. The Government is then involved at the major decision points.
My Department has engaged with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment throughout the process on the economic appraisal of the national broadband plan. In addition, there was also ongoing engagement between the Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment and my Department on the cost and affordability of the project, in particular once it emerged that the cost of the project was not capable of being funded within the allocation that had originally been made for the project in the national development plan.
In monetary terms, the impact
of the project on the overall fiscal position will necessitate an additional requirement of approximately €200 million in 2021 and 2022 and approximately €300 million in 2023, which will result in a depreciation in the general Government balance of approximately 0.1% of both GDP and GNI* on an annual basis. I will lay out in budget 2020 and in the run-up thereto how I plan to accommodate that.