Written answers

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Budget 2022

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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72. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the value to date of requests for expenditure increases in Budget 2022 in pre-budget submissions; the main areas for which allocations have been sought; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44807/21]

Photo of Michael McGrathMichael McGrath (Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Budget 2022 is now less than three weeks away and engagement between my Department and other Departments and Offices is ongoing. In line with the fiscal parameters agreed in the Summer Economic Statement (SES), the expenditure ceiling for 2022 will be €88.2 billion. €80.1 billion of this overall ceiling will be for core expenditure while up to €8.1 billion in non-core, temporary funding will be available for 2022 for measures to respond to the impacts of Covid-19 and for measures funded from the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

This €80.1 billion core expenditure ceiling includes additional core expenditure of €4.2 billion over the 2021 core amount. This increased core expenditure includes the €1.1 billion additional capital funding under the National Development Plan and €3.1 billion in additional funding for current expenditure measures. €2.1 billion of this current expenditure increase has been provided to meet pre-commitment costs in relation to demographics, and to meet the carryover costs of prior year measures and of public service pay deals. This leaves €1.0 billion to fund priority new core current expenditure measures.

The National Economic Dialogue (NED) held at the end of June this year provided an opportunity for the various stakeholders to discuss with Ministers issues of concern with them in the run-up to Budget 2022. Discussions at the NED included consideration of issues in relation to prioritisation of budgetary resources and the trade-offs required in order to deliver on societal and economic priorities while returning the public finances to sustainability.

In line with previous years there are requests for additional expenditure that exceed the available resources set out in the SES. This will require prioritisation to ensure that the additional resources are impacting on people's lives and are supporting effective and efficient delivery of public services.

As set out in the SES, and also the subject of discussions at the NED, there is to be a phased withdrawal of the exceptional Covid-19 related expenditure to support recovery through next year. A substantial amount of €7 billion has been earmarked for Covid-19 expenditure to support delivery of public services taking into account public health requirements, provide for a tapered phased withdrawal of supports, and for a contingency reserve to allow Government respond as the situation with the virus evolves next year.

I, along with my officials, am currently involved in the process of working with all Departments and Offices over the coming weeks in relation to the proposals received and finalisation of the funding available at a departmental level and to ensure that the Budget Estimates for next year are settled within the parameters agreed by Government in the SES. Budget settlements will be guided by the goals of the Programme for Government commitment to return the public finances to a more sustainable position while addressing our infrastructure challenges, continuing to enhance our public services and social supports, and supporting a balanced recovery from the pandemic.


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