Seamus Coffey: No room for error or slippage if we are to meet 2011 targets for vigilant Troika
WE are less than a week into 2012 and already the media are turning attention to Budget 2013, which will not be delivered for another 11 months. Last month we had a two-day production from the coalition that led us through €3,800 million of budgetary "adjustments".
On the expenditure side, much of the focus was on the cuts to the social welfare budget. Although €475m of measures were announced it is forecast that social welfare expenditure in 2012 will be €20,544m. In 2011, expenditure was estimated to be €20,621m.
In 2012 social welfare expenditure will be €77m lower than it was in 2011. The social welfare budget is 99.6pc intact. There have been some changes, but cuts and reductions in expenditure in some areas are being offset by increases in expenditure elsewhere.