The Government has said it will make available an estimated €15 billion in additional direct expenditure funding to respond to Covid-19 this year.

Publishing the Mid-Year Expenditure Report for 2021, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said this will provide significant funding for employment and income supports, in particular the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

It will also support key services including Health, Education and Public Transport.

The Mid-Year Expenditure Report (MYER) was introduced in 2016 as a part of the Budgetary cycle and it provides the pre-Budget baseline for cross-Departmental expenditure.

It is published every summer, which gives enough time in advance of the Budget to examine priorities as well as to identify areas where there could be significant expenditure pressures or risks.

"Overall voted expenditure is projected at over €90 billion this year. Pre-Covid, planned expenditure for 2020 was €70 billion.

"This increase in expenditure reflects the significant level of resources provided to support our people, business and public services through the pandemic," Minister Michael McGrath said.

"With the vaccination programme continuing at pace, this will support the further reopening of society and recovery in the economy," he added.

Minister McGrath also said that the Government is committed to a phased careful withdrawal of the funding for exceptional measures.

"This will be done in a way that supports our people and economy to recover and returns the public finances to a sustainable footing," he added.

The Minister said that spending on core expenditure programmes is to grow by just over 5% on average over the period to 2025.

"This growth will support a massive investment in our public capital programme and enhancements to public services and social supports.

"Sustainability in expenditure requires that core expenditure increases implemented today are affordable over the medium term and also that the full amount of public spending is delivering improved outcomes for our people," Michael McGrath said.

"This requires an ongoing and increasing focus on value for money by building on the budgetary reforms such as the Spending Review and Public Spending Code," he added.