Dáil Éireann - Volume 416 - 03 March, 1992
Written Answers. - Programme for Economic and Social Progress Proposals.
Mr. Shatter Mr. Shatter
78. Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Finance if he will outline the non-pay aspects of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress the Government intend not to implement during 1992 and which were committed to be implemented during 1992 in the programme.
Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern) Bertie Ahern
 Minister for Finance (Mr. B. Ahern): The Government are fully committed to the Programme for Economic and Social Progress and to implementing the important social and economic policies contained in it.
This commitment must, however, be tempered by the need to ensure that the programme's fiscal parameters are observed. This was made clear in the programme itself which said that the aims of fiscal policy would continue to be the reduction of the national debt/GNP ratio towards 100 per cent by 1993 and as part of this to achieve broad balance on the current budget. Fundamental to the achievement of these aims is continued firm control of our public finances.
Given the budgetary circumstances facing us in 1992, it was simply not possible to implement all of the 1992 Programme for Economic and Social Progress undertakings in full while at the same time achieving budgetary targets consistent with the programme. It proved necessary, therefore, to defer or scale back some of the initiatives in the education area which were specifically intended to be introduced in full in 1992.  Nonetheless, substantial elements of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress non-pay undertakings are being implemented this year. I believe that in the end a fair balance was struck. The core of the non-pay aspects of the programme was preserved while, at the same time, some elements were scaled down or deferred in recognition of the overriding need to protect the public finances.
The 1992 commitments in relation to education which were intended to be implemented in 1992 but which were scaled back or deferred are set out in the following schedule. The schedule sets out the original measures in the Programme for Economic and Social Progress, the element of the measure which is going ahead and the element which has been deferred.
Given the budgetary circumstances the £4 million provided for in the budget for Programme for Economic and Social Progress-related education initiatives is no small achievement. It is the Government's firm intention to implement the other measures outlined in the Programme for Economic and Social Progress as budgetary circumstances permit.
Programme for Economic and Social Progress undertakings in Education Area 1992
Dáil Éireann 416 Written Answers. Programme for Economic and Social Progress Proposals.