2003 ESTIMATES OF RECEIPTS and EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31 DECEMBER, 2003


Prepared by the Government and presented to Dáil Éireann in accordance with the provisions of Article 28 of the Constitution.

EXPLANATORY NOTES

1. Basis of figures

The figures shown for receipts and expenditure in 2002 are projected outturns and reflect present knowledge. They are subject to revision when the end-year figures become available. Fully audited details for 2002 will be available in the 2002 Finance Accounts to be published not later than 30 September 2003.

2. Revenue

The estimate of revenue for 2003 is based on the tax provisions in force at present.


3. Expenditure

The Estimates for Public Services (Abridged Version) & Summary Public Capital Programme 2003 (AEV), was published on 14 November 2002. The 2003 figures in this document are the same as those published in the AEV.

The 2002 outturn figures are consistent with those published in the AEV. However, they have been adjusted to reflect the Further Revised Estimates presented to Dáil Éireann on foot of the restructuring of Departments in June 2002. This means that they are based on the effective date on which functions were transferred whereas in the AEV the full year programme allocations were shown for the Departments to which the relevant programmes were transferred in order to facilitate year-on-year comparisons. They have also been adjusted to take account of the Supplementary Estimates presented to Dáil Éireann on 26 November 2002.


4. Appropriations-in-Aid

Voted expenditures are shown net of Appropriations-in-Aid. These are receipts which, with the agreement of the Dáil, may be retained by a Department or Office to offset expenditures instead of being paid into the Exchequer Account of the Central Fund. Details of gross voted expenditures by Departments are contained in the Estimates for Public Services (Abridged Version) & Summary Public Capital Programme 2003.

5. PRSI

PRSI contributions are paid into the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) and do not form part of the revenues paid into the Central Fund as is explained in the following paragraphs

Disbursements by the Department of Social and Family Affairs fall under three main categories, namely,

(a) payments out of the SIF which are related to the entitlement of persons under their insurance/PRSI/benefit record, e.g. unemployment benefit, contributory pensions, etc.,

(b)payments to persons who have ceased to qualify or have never qualified under their insurance/PRSI/benefit record to be paid out of the SIF, e.g. unemployment assistance, non-contributory pensions, etc., and

(c) other payments such as grants to organisations.

The amount voted by the Dáil to the Department of Social and Family Affairs is composed of payments falling under (b) and (c) above, together with any sum needed by the SIF if the resources of the Fund are less than the total sum to be paid out of the Fund in any year.

In the past, an Exchequer contribution has been required to meet the shortfall on the SIF. However, no Exchequer contribution has been required since 1997.

6. Prefunding of future pensions liabilities

The National Pensions Reserve Fund Act 2000 provides for prefunding part of the future cost of social welfare and public service pensions, and the setting aside of 1% of estimated Gross National Product (GNP) annually for this purpose (see Note 7 on page 8).

7. Proceeds from the sale of ACC Bank

The proceeds from the sale of ACC Bank in 2002 are included as Capital Receipts (see Note 5 on page 7).

8. EU Budget contribution

The 2002 EU Budget contribution is expected to be €361 million lower than forecast. A cash refund of €31 million was received during 2002 (see Note 2 on page 5) and the balance of €330 million is reflected in a lower payment from Central Fund Services of €1,051 million (see Note 4 on page 7).

9. Service of National Debt

The 2002 projected Central Fund outturn reflects a reduction of €500 million in the assets of the Capital Services Redemption Account. The 2003 figure reflects a reduction of €250 million in these assets.

10. General Government Balance

The projected outturn for the General Government Balance (GGB) in 2002 is for a deficit of €403 million or –0.3% of GDP. The GGB forecast for 2003, consistent with the Exchequer Balance published in this paper, is for a deficit of €642 million or –0.5% of GDP (see page 4).

The General Government is a wider definition of Government because in addition to the Exchequer it includes the Local Authorities, the Social Insurance Fund and the National Pensions Reserve Fund. Thus, a payment from the Exchequer to the National Pensions Reserve Fund does not alter the General Government Balance.

The determination of which items qualify under the GGB rules (ESA 95) is a matter for settlement by Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Union).

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