€60 million hole in State finances as FG ignores new demographic analysis – McGrath

– Pressures in Health, Education & Social Protection driving costs up –

– Additional €335m needed for the Department of Health this year –

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD is warning that the government is facing a €60m hole in the State finances because of the government’s failure to account for changing demographic pressures in 2020.


Deputy McGrath commented, „Each year a portion of money is allocated in the Budget for demographic pressures in the forthcoming year.  The figure is derived from analysis undertaken by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) and focuses on the Departments of Health, Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and Education and Skills.

„The previous analysis was undertaken in 2016 and covered a period from 2017 to 2027.  It anticipated that €435 million would be required for demographics in 2020.  In Budget 2020 a figure of €451 million allocated to demographics.  However, a new analysis undertaken by IGEES shows that €511 million will be required in 2020, an increase of €60 million from the Budget figure.

„I cannot understand why this IGEES analysis was not completed before Budget 2020.  €60 million is a substantial figure.  It could pay for around 1,200 new primary teachers, over 2 million home help hours or some 240 social houses.  In June 2019, the Minister said he did not expect demographics to have an affect on Budget 2020.  Now we learn that it will.  The cynic in me would think that the government wanted this €60 million for its own pet projects next year.

„Separately, when Minister Donohoe is questioned about the extra money needed for Health every year, he suggests that an increase in demand is the reason why Health consistently goes over budget.  How can he expect Health to run on Budget when he does not allocate enough funding for demographic pressures?  He cannot have it both ways.

„In addition, the Minister cannot outline where this money will come from.  Will he dip into corporation taxes once again and ignore the criticism from the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council?

„Minister Donohoe needs to come clean on this and tell us where this €60 million will come from.  It comes on top of the €335m needed to fill the hole in health this year and the €654m, which was allocated last year”, concluded McGrath.



DemographicsBudget 2020
€ million
IGEES analysis
€ million
Extra needed
Health26028626
Employment Affairs and Social Protection13717134
Education and Skills54540
 45151160

Fianna Fáil
Michael McGrath TD
Spokesperson on Finance

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