Written answers

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Government Expenditure

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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187. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount to be allocated to demographics each year to 2024; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24219/19]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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Estimates of certain demographic pressures in the areas of Health, Social Protection and Education are set out in Expenditure Report 2019 as pre-committed elements of the current expenditure baseline for the period to 2021. These are primary areas of current expenditure which are particularly impacted by demographic changes. For 2020 and 2021, an allocation of €0.45 billion is set out to meet demographic pressures. These allocations are informed by the paper ‘Budgetary Impacts of Changing Demographics 2017 – 2027’, published by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES). The paper can be found on the IGEES website here: . 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 paper suggests demographic costs of approximately €0.15 billion in 2022, and approximately €0.4 billion per annum out to 2027. However, as part of the 2019 Spending Review process, an update of this paper is due to be published in the coming months. 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.

There are also some Department of Finance publications which may be useful in examining the area of demographics. This includes 'Population Ageing and the Public Finances in Ireland' published in 2018, which can be found on the gov.ie website here . There is also some demographic information presented in the recently published Stability Programme Update, such as Table 24 in chapter 8, which outlines long-term spending projections of age-related expenditure as a share of GNI*.

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