We reported last week how the Government plans to collect just over €50 billion in revenue. How does the Government plan to distribute this money? On average, every man, woman and child in Ireland receives €10,818.47 worth of public services, from crime prevention, health care to education. Of course, this figure greatly varies depending on individual's circumstances and needs, but we can breakdown the total Government spend into key areas.
Looking after the Sick and Old
After Social Protection, the biggest bill for the Government is the Department of Health. With a current spending over €13 billion, Ireland is within the top ten OECD countries for health spend per capita. There is a further spend of €3.4 billion for Illness, Disability and Caring Allowances, paid out from the Department of Social Protection.
The largest area for Social Protection is state pensions, costing the Government €6.7 billion and expecting to increase as Ireland gets older. This is a larger amount than Job Seekers (€2.7 billion) and Income Support (€1.7 billion).
Educating a Smart Workforce
The Government will spend €8.5 billion on education this year, an increase of 15 per cent in ten years, in comparison to a 17 per cent increase in student numbers. As the annual debate about student fees re-ignites, it must be noted that third level admissions has increased by 27 per cent in the past ten years. Many of the 18-24 year olds not in education in 2006, would have been working in construction jobs which no longer exist.
Child benefit payments increased in 2015 by €5 providing 623,000 families with some extra cash. Totalling €2.2 billion in cost, this payment is not means tested and therefore there are families who may not need the payment, and the money could be invested elsewhere
Housing and Local Government
Environment and local Government receives just under €1billion for current spending. We wait to see if a capital budget for social housing will be provided, but it is unlikely as the Government has suggested that NAMA and private developers provide housing stock.
Where do you think money should be spent?
In the coming week we will be asking you and the Irish people how the budget should be spent. We will profile the key demographic groups and their demands. Subscribe below for updates on the 2017 People's Budget.