The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, has said expenditure by the Government will be higher than the average 3.5% increase in core spending detailed in the Stability Programme Update.
Minister Donohoe was responding to a question from Sinn Féin spokesperson on finance, Pearse Doherty, at an appearance before the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight this afternoon.
The Minister said decisions on future spending will depend on Covid-related expenditure, the estimates process and government decisions over time. He accepted that it would be higher than 3.5% a year.
In an answer to PBP's Richard Boyd Barrett TD, the Minister said no decision has been made yet about the future of PUP payments and other supports.
He said as the economy reopens, emergency levels of funding would have to be looked at.
But he repeated the message that there would be no 'cliff edge' to payments beyond the end of June, when they are scheduled to expire.
He said any extension to the payments would add to the deficit this year and it will be 'necessary to address this.'
He said that beyond 2022, he expected that Covid supports would be unwound.