The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is responsible for monitoring expenditure allocations on a monthly basis at departmental level. Responsibility for individual projects rests with the relevant Departments. Accordingly, managing the cost of both the national children’s hospital and the national broadband plan projects is a matter, in the first instance, for the Departments of Health and Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
Regarding the estimated cost of these projects from 2021 onwards, I am informed that spending on the national children’s hospital will be in the region of €650 million and the national broadband plan will cost up to €3 billion, albeit for a long period after 2021. In both cases, annual funding will be voted through the Dáil in the Revised Estimates and will subsequently issue from the Exchequer.
The funding for these two projects forms part of the overall capital allocations for their Vote groups. As with all Vote groups, it is for individual Ministers to prioritise the projects to be funded from their allocations.
My role is to oversee the implementation of the National Development Plan 2018-2027, including the capital ceilings underpinning it. To ensure the efficient implementation of the plan, there is a Project Ireland 2040 delivery board, an investment projects and programmes office, a capital projects tracker and a construction sector working group to ensure how best to deliver these projects.
I have published our Estimates ceilings beyond 2021 until 2025. Given the commitment I made that these projects would go ahead and that they would not push out any other projects Departments had in these areas, the capital allocations for these Departments were added on during the summer economic statement. It comes from either running a lower surplus in the event of being able to avoid a no-deal Brexit or a slightly higher deficit if we must deal with a no-deal Brexit.