Written Answers - Departmental Reports.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 704 No. 4

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  55.  Deputy Richard Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan   if he plans to request a further report from the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes in 2010. [11564/10]

  56.  Deputy Michael D’Arcy  Information on Michael D'Arcy  Zoom on Michael D'Arcy   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan   if he has had consultations with other Departments regarding the measures drawn from the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes report which they plan to implement; the aggregate [748]savings involved outside of the social welfare rate changes; and the percentage of that aggregate which will be delivered in year one. [11588/10]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): Information on Brian Joseph Lenihan  Zoom on Brian Joseph Lenihan  I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 56 together.

The Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes was published in July 2009 and outlined 271 recommendations with potential savings of up to €5.3 billion in a full year along with associated staffing reductions of over 17,300 in public service numbers. Following the publication of the Special Group’s Report, which is advisory in nature, the Government referred the Report to each Government Department with instructions to examine recommendations relevant to their Department as a major input to the Estimates process for 2010. In parallel with this, my Department also closely examined the Report for the same purpose. Accordingly, the Special Group’s analysis and recommendations have been taken into account in the 2010 Budget and the Estimates of Expenditure for the year ahead. The formulation of policy in regard to the 2010 Estimates involved discussions and consultations between my Department and other Departments, as is normal. Implementation of all Estimates decisions, including those arising from the Report of the Special Group, is the responsibility of the relevant Minister and Department.

In summary, the Government decided to implement 32 recommendations in full and 89 in part. In aggregate terms, these savings are estimated to yield some €1.7 billion in 2010 and €1.9 billion in a full year, with savings implemented by the Department of Social and Family Affairs accounting for an estimated €691 million in 2010 and €739 million in a full year. On that basis, aggregate savings outside of those related to the Department of Social Welfare amount to €1.06 billion in 2010 and €1.17 billion in a full year. The 2010 figure therefore represents 90% of the non-Social Welfare full year savings.

The Report of the Special Group will continue to be a central point of reference in the Government’s ongoing consideration of overall expenditure strategy and structural reform across the public service, and the recommendations of the Report continue to receive active consideration across all Departments in this regard. There are no plans to reconvene the Special Group in 2011. Comprehensive details on the 2010 Estimates of Expenditure are set out in the 2010 Budget documentations and in the 2010 Revised Estimates Volume, which was published on 18 February 2010.


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