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Health will cough up €40m to Exchequer

The Department of Health will end up giving back €40m to the Exchequer this year -- despite the cuts in services.

Health Minister James Reilly said overall around €90m would be unspent and €40m would have to be returned.

The "surplus" is due to a number of areas where there was underspending, including the Hepatitis C compensation tribunal. Spending on inquiries, legal fees and settlements also did not materialise, leaving €4-€5m left over.

There was also €4m left from the administrative budget, partly due to the decision not to go ahead with a consultancy in relation to the VHI.

There were also surpluses in training, cleaning, office machinery and supplies.

Another €11m in savings will be made in unused grants to agencies like the Health Research Board and the Health Information and Quality Authority.

There is also a projected underspend of €6.2m in the capital spend of €16.09m but just €1.5m can be held on to by the health service for 2012.

Irish Independent