Saturday 24 March 2018

Exchequer spend set to fall by 5pc to €57.5bn

Donal O'Donovan

FINAL estimates from the Department of Finance show government expenditure is expected to hit €57.5bn this year, a drop of 5pc.

But despite massive cuts, falls in estimated receipts from PRSI show net current spending on services will rise by 2.7pc in 2011 to €41.7bn from €40.6bn last year. The increase had been estimated at just 1.7pc when the Budget was announced.

The main reason is that net spending last year is now estimated to have been lower than was thought at Budget time -- €40.6bn rather than €41bn. Gross day-to-day spending in 2010, before PRSI and levies, is now put at €54.27bn -- a €300m reduction.

The overall spending tally this year is expected to be down €3bn compared to 2010. The department said the fall in expenditure was in line with the percentages published at Budget time.

The estimates include some revisions of 2010 figures since Budget 2011 was announced, making it unclear whether the State is on course to hit its two-year savings targets.

According to the latest figures, the year-on-year fall in net capital spending will be a massive 26.6pc from €5.9bn to €4.3bn, the figures show. Capital spending for 2010 had previously been estimated at €5.8bn.

The Department of Social Protection remains the highest spending arm of the Government, drawing down 39pc of spending.

Health on 27pc and Education on 16pc take up the bulk of the remaining budget.

Transport is the biggest drain on the remaining capital budget with roads and public transport accounting for a combined 30pc of spending.

Irish Independent

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