Revised Estimates for Public Services 2018 published

14th December, 2017

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is today (Thursday) publishing the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2018 (REV).  As in previous years, the REV provides additional details and information in relation to the allocations contained in the 2018 Budget Estimates, which were set out in the Expenditure Report 2018 published on Budget Day, 10th October 2017.  The REV also gives summary detail in respect of the forecast outturn for spending in 2017.

The REV for 2018 sets out a gross total expenditure estimate of €61.8 billion in 2018. Of this, gross current spend is €55.9 billion and gross capital spend is €5.8 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.

The Programme for Partnership Government contains a commitment to ‘develop the process of budget and policy proofing as a means of advancing equality, reducing poverty and strengthening economic and social rights’. Utilising the performance budgeting framework, a pilot approach to gender budgeting has been adopted in the REV with a number of Departments including indicators relating to equality objectives. Those Departments are: Transport, Culture, Children, Education, Health, Business.

The REV includes a significant technical adjustment in relation to the State funding of water services. Following enactment of the Water Services Act 2017, in place of the existing arrangement, whereby water services were funded from a combination of voted expenditure, subvention from the Local Government Fund, non-voted expenditure and Irish Water borrowings, all State funding for domestic water services will be provided through the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. With the Act also providing that motor tax receipts are paid into the Exchequer rather than the Local Government Fund, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will no longer receive an appropriation-in-aid, funded by motor tax, from the Local Government Fund. Compared to the Estimates published on Budget day, the REV shows an increase in gross voted expenditure of almost €0.8 billion and in net voted expenditure of over €1.1 billion. These increases, arising from the new funding arrangements for domestic water services, have no impact on overall General Government expenditure or on the General Government deficit.

Furthermore, as set out the REV, a number of Government transfers of functions are reflected in the 2018 Estimates. Ordinance Survey Ireland is to be transferred to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government with effect from 1st January 2018 with the Valuation Office and the Property Registration Authority included in the Housing Vote Group from 2018 onwards. The Community Services Programme also transfers to the Department of Rural and Community Development next year.

As is usual, there are also a number of post-estimates technical and policy adjustments (of c. €50 million or 0.08% of overall gross expenditure) included in REV 2018. €41 million of this amount has been allocated to Health for measures in relation to respite care and GP Visit Cards including for persons in receipt of carers allowance. Arising from the Budget decision to increase Social Welfare rates by €5 per week, extra funding is being provided to Education to increase the allocation provided for training allowances. Additionally, funding is also to be provided to Transport, Tourism and Sport, including for additional services in respect of the Road Safety Authority, to the Department of Rural and Community Development including for Public Participation Networks and to provide for a pilot project in the North East Inner City, and to the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer in order to continue to progress the Build to Share platform.