The government has jammed very very hard on the expenditure brakes in the past month. A new ad hoc version of Enda Kennys 2011 era “Economic Management Council” cabinet sub committee has been formed with just Donohoe and Varadkar and their senior officials on it. None of your Creeds and Coveneys and the ordinary country blueshirt class of minister.
They are severely spooked by Brexit and also by the chronic mismanagement of the Childrens Hospital project/contract and seemingly there is also some issue with PPPs and also with a department of Finance profile (unpublished) that has gone somehow wrong in the past 2 months. We’ll see when the returns come out week after next and the annual dept of Finance income and expenditure profile is also due out in February and is likely to project an small overall deficit in 2019 rather than a surplus as was predicted at budget time.
Under Capital Expenditure rules in force for many years now it has been a requirement that every Capital Project costing over €100m is to be presented for cabinet approval. On monday last Shane Ross had submitted one such project to cabinet and announced to Sligo County Council that he would be coming up for sod turning etc on this road project.
Much to Shanes surprise the item never made the cabinet agenda, Leos new EMC killed it off and no doubt they told Ross (who has an ever building pipeline of €100m+ class capital expenditure projects) he is not to submit any more of these to cabinet without prior advance permission from PER and this EMC nua.
This was the story before the cabinet meeting.
midwestradio.ie/index.php/n … his-sunday
This was the story after the cabinet meeting.
midwestradio.ie/index.php/n … h-february
It will be interesting to see whether they direct ministers to can capital projects that currently require ministerial approval only, these are costed at €20m-€99m and are not brought to cabinet. The problem with issuing such a directive is that everybody will soon know about it and it might frighten the horses entirely.