Written answers

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Flood Relief Schemes

Photo of Aindrias MoynihanAindrias Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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79. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the preferred options for the flood relief works on the Sullane river, Ballyvourney, County Cork, will be finalised; the impediments delaying this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39639/19]

Photo of Kevin  MoranKevin Moran (Longford-Westmeath, Independent)
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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: .

This paper covers a number of areas of expenditure, including pensions, child benefit, education provision and in health areas such as the acute hospitals, PCRS, community and 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.

Education & Skills Group544747
Employment Affairs & Social Protection Group260260260
Health Group137148148

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.

More generally, introducing multi-annual funding for the totality of the Health budget would involve considerable challenges, not least in terms of establishing confidence in the soundness of the underlying financial management systems and in the ability of the Health system as a whole to plan and manage its resources on both an annual and multi-annual basis. I am hopeful that the improved leadership and governance arrangements that have recently been put in place in the Health sector, including the establishment of the HSE Board, may help to underpin confidence in such areas into the future.


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