Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has questioned how long the Minister for Health can get away with presenting completely spurious budgets for the health service.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “According to newspaper reports today Minister Reilly says the €108 million in savings which he signed off on in the 2014 HSE Service Plan are no longer achievable.

“This follows the initial 2014 Health Budget presented last October when the Minister signed off on €113 million in probity savings on medical cards, but had no idea how he would achieve these savings. The result was the unprecedented situation where the agencies in charge of delivering savings had to go looking for post-budget verification of the figures that the Minister presented to the Dáil.

“Then the HSE’s Service Plan in December saw the ‘probity’ cuts reduced to €23 million and instead we were presented with €108 million in ‘unspecified savings’ in pay. Today we find that these savings were unspecified because they were not achievable.

“The fact is that Minister Reilly is continually presenting health budgets that have no basis in reality. He is now asking his cabinet colleagues to find that unachievable €108 million from their departmental budgets. It is simply an untenable position for the Health Minister to be in year after year.”