Donohoe should tell us what he plans to cut in Budget 2018
Labour spokesperson on Public Expenditure, Sean Sherlock has called on Minister Donohoe to outline where he believes expenditure savings can be made to free up fiscal space, following the publication of the Summer Economic Statement. The Government has also failed to adequately increase capital expenditure as by 2021 Ireland will only invest 2.3% of GDP, a 0.1% increase on previous plans.
Deputy Sherlock said:
“The Government is spinning a yarn about the need to look at the totality of public expenditure in advance of the budget alongside a minimal increase in capital investment.
“If Minister Donohoe is serious about looking at the totality of Government expenditure, he should tell us what programmes he plans to cut to free up fiscal space for other spending priorities.
“There was total voted Government expenditure in 2017 of €58 billion. €19.3 billion of this relates to pay and pensions, €4.5 billion on capital expenditure, and €19.8 billion on social welfare payments.
“This leaves a balance of €14.3 billion on other programmes, ranging from health to education to development aid and community supports.
“Stripping out essential health and education non-pay spending, that leaves €5.4 billion.
“If the Minister isn’t planning to cut pay, pensions, social welfare payments, capital spending, health or education he should be honest and tell us what programmes in the remaining €5.4 billion he will be cutting in Budget 2018.
“The transfer of half of the proposed rainy day fund to capital spending is still to small, and will mean that by 2021 that Ireland will still only be spending 2.3% of GDP on capital investment, a 0.1% increase.”