Thursday, 19 September 2019

Ceisteanna (82)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

82. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the pre-committed expenditure which is committed to demographics in each of the years 2020 to 2024 by vote. [38116/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Mid-Year Expenditure Report, published in July of this year, set out baseline current expenditure ceilings on a Ministerial level to 2022. These ceilings are inclusive of pre-committed expenditure of €0.5 billion per annum for demographics in the areas of Health, Social Protection and Education. These are primary areas of current expenditure that are particularly impacted by demographic pressures. These demographic projections are informed by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) paper ‘Budgetary Impacts of Changing Demographics 2017 – 2027.’ The paper can be found on the IGEES website here:

https://igees.gov.ie/budgetary-impact-of-changing-demographics-2017-to-2027/.

This paper covers a number of areas of expenditure, including pensions, child benefit, education provision and health schemes such as the Nursing Home Support Scheme. These pure demographic costs are factored in to Ministerial Expenditure Ceilings for Health, Social Protection and Education. The following table shows these costs for the period to 2022.

 

2020

€m

2021

€m

2022

€m

Education & Skills Group

54

47

47

Employment Affairs & Social   Protection Group

260

260

260

Health Group

137

148

148

Total

451

455

455

Going beyond the period set out in the Mid-Year Expenditure Report, the paper suggests demographic costs of approximately €0.4 billion in 2023 and 2024. However, as part of the 2019 Spending Review process, an update of this paper is due to be published. This forthcoming paper will again look at the key areas of Health, Social Protection and Education and will examine demographic pressures in these areas over a ten year period.

The Department of Finance publication 'Population Ageing and the Public Finances in Ireland' published in 2018, and which can be found on the gov.ie website here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2e8463-population-ageing-and-the-public-finances/ , may also be useful in examining the area of demographics. There is also some demographic information presented in the Stability Programme Update, which was published in April, such as Table 24 in chapter 8, which outlines long-term spending projections of age-related expenditure as a share of GNI*.