Thursday, 18 December 2014
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
159. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the priorities in his Department for the remainder of the term of this Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49028/14]
In answer to the Deputy's question my priorities for the remainder of my term in office are consistent with the priorities outlined in the Statement of Government Priorities 2014-2016 published by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton on Friday 11 July 2014.
In the area of responsible and sustainable management of the public finances in addition to working towards maintaining the current stable economic environment my Department completed the comprehensive review of expenditure ahead of this year's Budget in order to prioritise expenditure allocations for the coming years.
A capital review was also carried out in advance of the budget to ensure that the available resources focus on the key social and economic priorities of the Government.
To aid and assist the rebuilding of trust in politics and public institutions my Department has already introduced significant political reforms. My Department completed the enactment of the Freedom of Information legislation in October 2014 with the Lobbyists Bill expected early in 2015. I also intend to publish legislation to consolidate local and national ethics requirements and give effect to the recommendations of the tribunals.
My Department will also assist the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in the analysis and development of financial options in the area of social housing.
The Civil Service Renewal Plan was launched recently and the ongoing process of public service reform also remains a priority for me and my Department.
My Department and I will continue to work towards protecting and enhancing peace in Northern Ireland and will continue to develop the North-South institutions.
In addition to the above I intend to continue to progress the relevant commitments under the Programme for Government for which my Department is responsible.