Dáil Éireann - Volume 503 - 20 April, 1999
Written Answers. - Multi-Annual Budgeting.
Proinsias De Rossa Proinsias De Rossa
74. Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Finance the plans, if any, he has to move to multi-annual budgeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10199/99]
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): Multi-annual budgeting is part of the wide ranging changes in public service management being introduced under the strategic management initiative. The aim is to put in place a framework within which the Government can consider and decide its overall budgetary, taxation and expenditure priorities in a medium-term context. Progress towards putting that framework in place was made in the 1997, 1998 and 1999 budgets.
Profiles for the main budgetary aggregates, setting out the Government's medium-term budget targets, were published with the 1999 budget. Also published as part of the 1999 budget documentation were “no-policy-change” projections of expenditure by ministerial vote group in 2000 and 2001 together with an indication of the total amount available for allocation above these “no-policy-change” levels within the overall expenditure envelope specified in the budgetary profiles.
I said in my 1999 Budget Statement that I would be addressing the final phase of the move to multi-annual expenditure budgeting, involving the Government making decisions on the allocation of resources across vote groups, to give fin ancial envelopes for those vote groups, by the end of the first quarter of 1999.
In my statement on the publication of the end-March 1999 Exchequer returns, I indicated that my Department had carried out a considerable amount of work on developing the financial envelopes. However, I said that I had decided to postpone seeking Government decisions on financial envelopes at this time because it had become clear, as the detailed work on developing the envelopes was proceeding in my Department, that seeking Government agreement to the envelopes at this time would not be appropriate. The forthcoming negotiations on the National Development Plan and, subsequently on the national agreement to succeed Partnership 2000, will almost certainly require revision of financial envelopes decided now.
I decided, in the circumstances, that the final phase of the multi-annual budgeting system will be introduced with effect from the year 2000. It is my intention that, under this new timetable, financial envelopes will be decided by the Government for the years 2001 and 2002 in the first quarter of 2000.
Dáil Éireann 503 Written Answers. Multi-Annual Budgeting.