Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform 

I welcome the publication of my Department’s Annual Progress Report for 2014. The Report outlines the main achievements and developments during the year to advance the Department’s objectives, as set out in its Statement of Strategy 2011 – 2014. That was a very ambitious programme of change and reform to sustain and support the overall national recovery effort. The sustainability of public expenditure, including that of public sector pay and pensions, continued to be a key focus of my Department’s activities in 2014.

Maintaining a firm, planned and sustainable public expenditure framework is essential to provide a solid foundation for the provision of public services into the future.  Demographic changes and demands for quality services will create spending pressures, particularly on health, education and social welfare.  Taking action to mitigate Climate Change will also generate substantial spending pressures.  The decisions we take on expenditure, including pay and pensions, have to ensure the sustainability of the public finances over the medium and long term.  That goes hand in hand with delivering reforms to see to it that public services are delivered more effectively.

In support of this strategy, in 2014, my Department delivered:

  • The expenditure component of Budget 2015,  the Comprehensive Expenditure Report 2015-2017 and carried out considerable work on the capital review
  • A further €200m Exchequer Stimulus Plan
  • My Department also supported Departments in progressing the comprehensive Public Service Reform Plan
  • A revised public service numbers policy and new delegated arrangements (to be rolled out in 2015)
  • A new approach (including PPPs) to address Social Housing supply issues
  • The continued implementation of the Haddington Road agreement, with over €460m in savings
  • The Civil Service Renewal Plan
  • The identification of substantial savings in procurement
  • Progress with a very substantial body of legislation to reform our political framework to enhance greater transparency and accountability in Government
  • Progress with a number of other reform measures in the areas of Pensions, Shared Services and ICT Strategy

I have seen the calibre and commitment of the Department’s staff at a time of great national crisis, how they have risen to the challenge and discharged the Department’s mission with determination and energy.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their work in 2014 and the impressive body of achievements summarised in this report.

 

Brendan Howlin T.D.

Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform

To view the English version of the Report, please click here

The Irish Version of the Report can be found here