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Policy Information

Approval of Expenditure

Published: 19 February 2019
From: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Depending on how it is approved, government expenditure falls into two broad categories: non-voted expenditure and voted expenditure.

Voted Expenditure

Voted expenditure forms the largest part of government expenditure, as it encompasses the ordinary services of government (health, social protection, education etc.).

This type of spending is announced in the Budget speech as an Estimate, which needs to be approved by Dáil vote before it can be legally valid.

Non-Voted Expenditure

Non-Voted Expenditure is not voted on by the Dáil, as it is authorised by legislation.

Non-voted expenditure includes:

You can find out more about this process in the Public Financial Procedures Booklet, on the Government Accounting website.

Evaluating Expenditure

Expenditure must be evaluated on a continuous basis to ensure it is effective and any growth is sustainable. The Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) was established in 2012 to enhance evaluation in the policy-making process across all Departments, and to develop the evidence, information and analysis that can be used to inform future public spending decisions.

In 2017 IGEES began a series of Spending Reviews, which examine government spending from the perspective of efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact. IGEES also examine the impact of budgetary policies across different demographics via the Social Impact Assessment Framework.