Thursday, 14 November 2019

Ceisteanna (62, 66)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

62. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which his Department continues to rely on reform throughout the public sector as a means of bridging budgetary gaps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46975/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

66. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which each item of public expenditure remains on target throughout the coming year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46979/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 62 and 66 together.

Taking account of the increases provided for core expenditure, relative to the allocations in the Revised Estimate Volume 2019, spending on day to day public services will increase by 4.3 per cent next year, with capital investment growing by 10.8 per cent. Total gross expenditure will increase by 5 per cent to just over €70 billion. After taking account of potential expenditure arising from the no-deal Brexit, expenditure in 2020 would rise to over €71 billion.

 In 2020, core voted Government expenditure on the delivery of public services, excluding costs relating to the need to respond to a disorderly Brexit will be €61.9 billion. Maintaining the approach of recent years, additional resources will be focused on incrementally improving the scope and availability of public services which will impact on all sectors and regions of the economy. Details of the services to be delivered by all Departments are set out in Part II of the Budget 2020 Expenditure Report.

In relation to Capital expenditure, Project Ireland 2040 is the Government’s long-term overarching strategy to make Ireland a better country for all of its people. The plan changes how infrastructure investment is made. Project Ireland 2040 supports business and communities across all of Ireland in realising their potential.

Capital expenditure funding for 2020 represents a significant increase of almost €800 million or 10.8% over the 2019 allocations.  This investment will be delivered in line with the National Planning Framework as part of Project Ireland 2040. Targeted and sustainable investment will enable ambitious growth in our regional cities which can complement the continuing importance of Dublin to the national economy.

In order to safeguard this significant investment, a range of reforms have been put in place over the last number of years with the aim of focusing attention on achieving value for money. For example, the Performance Budgeting initiative seeks to shift focus away from simply looking at the quantum of spend towards examining what is being delivered through public expenditure. As part of this initiative, the third Public Service Performance Report was published earlier this year and provided outturn performance information for 2018 as well as trend data for the previous two years. My Department also finalised year three of the Spending Review process in 2019. The Spending Review aims to place evidence at the centre of policy development, through the examination of existing policies and programmes to assess their efficiency and effectiveness. This systematic examination of existing expenditure can support the re-allocation of funding to meet expenditure priorities. 

Managing the delivery of public services within allocations is a key responsibility of each Minister and Department. There are important measures are in place to ensure that our budgetary targets are being met. My Department is in regular contact with all other Departments and offices to ensure that expenditure is being managed within the overall fiscal parameters and there is regular reporting to Government on expenditure levels. Expenditure profiles are published for each month and the drawdown of funds from the Exchequer is monitored throughout the year and reported on against profile on a monthly basis in the Exchequer Statement.