The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is today (Thursday) publishing the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2017 (REV). As in previous years, the REVprovides additional details and information in relation to the allocations contained in the 2017 Estimates, which were set out in the Expenditure Report 2017 published on Budget Day, 11th October 2016. The REV also gives summary detail in respect of the forecast outturn for spending in 2016.
The REV for 2017 sets out a gross total expenditure estimate of €58.1 billion in 2017. Of this, gross current spend is €53.5 billion and gross capital spend is €4.5 billion.
As in previous years, the REV will also include performance information, which provides details on the public service outputs and outcomes that are being delivered with public funds.
As part of the ongoing efforts to include the quality of performance information in the REV, a comprehensive review of the performance information provided for REV 2016 was carried out. This has resulted in further improved performance information for REV 2017, which should facilitate a meaningful engagement with the Oireachtas on what the public service will deliver with public funds.
As is usual, there are a number of minor, post-estimates technical and policy adjustments (of c. €43.5 million or 0.07% of overall gross expenditure) included in REV 2017. The main adjustments are noted below:
- There is an adjustment in the REV to reflect an Exchequer neutral transfer of certain Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) funding lines of €5 million in aggregate, in a number of Departments, to the Department of Justice and Equality to take account of the new National Mapping Agreement.
- €6 million is included in the REV to provide for the commencement of the roll-out of the Public Service ICT Strategy.
- A number of allowances in the Further Education and Training (FET) sector are being increased in line with rates for Working Age Income Supports, and expenditure in the FET sector is adjusted by €7 million to take account of the Social Welfare rate changes.
- As part of the Revised Estimates, an additional allocation is being made to Garda pay in response to the Labour Court Recommendations, which has an estimated cost of €50m.
This last allocation reflects a “burden sharing” approach to dealing with this pay liability which is accounted for in the REV by:
- the reallocation of expenditure from within the Justice Group of Votes, achieved through reprioritisation and efficiency measures that are designed not to impact on the provision of crucial services to the public delivered by the sector; and
- an overall increase of €25m in the Ministerial Expenditure Ceiling for Justice for 2017.
It is not intended that this allocation will represent a permanent addition to the Expenditure Ceiling. Next year’s Comprehensive Spending Review provides the opportunity – across all Votes – to achieve efficiencies and reallocate and reprioritise expenditure to meet additional spending requirements.