Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
143. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the amount of funds that went unspent in 2022 per Department; if he will outline the process regarding the return of such moneys to his Department; the amount of funds that will be carried over and retained by each Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2346/23]
As per the end-December issues from the Exchequer, gross voted expenditure was €88.8 billion. This level of resources enabled continued investment in public services and substantial increases in capital investment and delivery through the National Development Plan (NDP).
In 2022 current expenditure increased by €247 million or 0.3% compared to 2021. This reflects a number of developments including significant increases in core spending, additional funding allocated for cost of living supports and humanitarian support for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. However, the total increase is moderated by significant reductions in Covid-19 related expenditure. Capital expenditure grew by €982 million or 9.9% in 2022 as the increased investment under the NDP continues to support sectors including housing, education, transport and climate action.
Following Supplementary Estimates, almost €90.7 billion in gross voted expenditure was allocated to Departments and Agencies in 2022. Compared to this allocation, the total gross spending outturn was €1.9 billion or 2.1% lower. This underspend related primarily to the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (€0.65bn) under Enterprise, Trade and Employment as the scheme was only opened to applicants in December 2022; lower than forecast spending on some Social Protection schemes (€0.2bn); and capital under spending in Environment, Climate and Communications (€0.3bn) and Housing, Local Government and Heritage (€0.2 billion).
The amounts of gross funding, by Ministerial Vote Group, unspent in 2022 is set out in the table below. These figures were published in the December Fiscal Monitor which is available online at: www.gov.ie/en/publication/9fd27-fiscal-monitor-december-2022/. The Fiscal Monitor also provides a breakdown by current and capital spending, a comparison against 2021 spending levels and net issues figures.
Only the amounts that are expected to be spent in the year, and capital carryover to the following year, are submitted by Votes to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform as part of their issues figures. Where funds allocated through Estimates voted by the Dáil are not required by Departments or agencies at the end of the year, these are not issued to Votes and remain in the Exchequer. December issues figures are preliminary amounts and final audited expenditure figures for 2022 will be available later in the year when Appropriation Accounts are finalised by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The end-December Fiscal Monitor figures include capital being carried over into 2023 of €687 million. The rolling multi-annual capital envelopes introduced in 2004 allow Departments to carryover of up to 10% of unspent voted capital expenditure from the current year into the next year. The provision of the capital carryover facility recognises the fundamental difficulties in the planning, procurement and profiling of capital expenditure and acknowledges that, for any number of reasons, capital projects may be subject to delays. The amounts carried over and available to spend in 2023 are shown to the nearest million in the table below.
|Ministerial Vote Group||2022 Gross Variance from Profile||Capital Carryover from 2022 into 2023|
|AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND THE MARINE||-44||28|
|CHILDREN, EQUALITY, DISABILITY, INTEGRATION AND YOUTH||-77||-|
|ENTERPRISE, TRADE AND EMPLOYMENT||-674||55|
|ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE AND COMMUNICATIONS||-301||-|
|FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION, RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE||-25||55|
|HOUSING, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND HERITAGE||-244||341|
|PUBLIC EXPENDITURE AND REFORM||-65||28|
|RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT||-2||15|
|TOURISM, CULTURE, ARTS, GAELTACHT, SPORT AND MEDIA||-39||20|
|Total Gross Voted Expenditure||-1,896||687|