The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, today (Tuesday 6th October), published a Pre-Budget Expenditure Update
ahead of Budget 2021.
There has been significant additional expenditure allocated since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Government acting quickly to address the challenges facing our citizens, businesses and key public services. The Report provides greater detail in relation to these supports and provides transparency regarding public expenditure in 2020.
Accounting for the reallocation of certain Departmental responsibilities arising from the formation of the new Government in June, there are a number of transfers of functions with over €4 billion in funding moving between Departments. In order to set out a pre-budget expenditure position for 2021, this report outlines the impact these transfers have on Departmental allocations and separates out the core spending from the Covid-19 related spending based on new Departmental structures.
The overall Budgetary Strategy for 2021 will focus on prioritising crisis management measures to address the challenges posed by Covid-19 and Brexit while preserving and maintaining existing levels of service within core expenditure programmes and also continuing to support the economy through the public capital programme.
Commenting on the report, the Minister said:
“I welcome the publication of this Report that sets out a clear timeline for the completion of transfers of functions and outlines the impact these transfers have on Departmental allocations. This is important as it provides clarity on the 2020 benchmark funding position for all Departments in advance of the upcoming Budget.”
The Minister also announced the publication of the first of two tranches of Spending Review papers
as part of the 2020 Spending Review process.
The spending review is a key platform for generating evidence for policy making across the Civil Service. Supported by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES), the process has become a focal point for the broad range of analysis ongoing across Government Departments, providing a rigorous assessment of whether policy programmes are achieving value for money.
Welcoming these reviews, the Minister added:
“The Spending Review is an important part of this Government’s approach to evidence informed policy making and while the challenges we face are significant, our ability to respond in a timely and appropriate manner is significantly enhanced by the Spending Review process.”
The papers published today cover a range of important policy areas including education, childcare, the labour market, enterprise, civil and public service workforce planning, energy efficiency and expenditure on foreign aid.