Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure & Reform Dara Calleary has called on Minister Paschal Donohoe to publish a full item by item costing of the Programme for Government, entered into by Fine Gael and the independents who support them.
Deputy Calleary stated, “I raised the issue of the Minister’s failure to date to publish a full list of the annual cost of each commitment entered in to by the new government during Dáil questions last week. Minister Donohoe continually stonewalled stating that “that €6.5 billion of extra investment was being put aside by the Government for public services and capital expenditure.” This is entirely inadequate and renders the document little more than an aspirational wish list.
“Last year the Secretaries General of the Department of Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform wrote to the political parties offering a costing facility for budget proposals and election manifestos. Each of the mainstream parties availed of this facility and the respective departments recently published the outcome of their correspondence.
“There is now an onus on the Minister to ensure a similar transparent exercise is carried out in relation to the Programme for Government. If he can give a cumulative total for tax and expenditure he can surely give a breakdown of the individual items. This needs to be set in the context of the available fiscal space for the next number of years.
“People who depend on vital public services deserve to know if the promises being made can be realistically delivered. This can only be achieved when a full costing exercise has been carried out. The Minister should commission this immediately,” concluded Deputy Calleary.