Irish Fiscal Advisory Council spending up 5%, says watchdog

Expenses mainly reflect travel and subsistence costs linked to meetings in Dublin

The 2015 report of the Comptroller and Auditor General notes a modest increase in spending by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council. File photograph: Getty Images

The 2015 report of the Comptroller and Auditor General notes a modest increase in spending by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Expenditure by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council increased by more than 5 per cent last year, according to the State’s spending watchdog.

The 2015 report of the Comptroller and Auditor General notes a modest increase in spending by the body that is charged with assessing the Government’s budgetary plans and projections, as well as informing public discussion on economic and fiscal matters.

The council has six full-time staff. Accommodation and support services such as accounts, IT, facilities and reception are provided through the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

Funding ceiling

The funding ceiling for the council, financed through the central exchequer, rose to €823,360 last year from €820,080 in 2014.

Expenditure at the council totalled about €643,000 in 2015 compared with €606,000 in 2014. Some 62 per cent of spending related to salary costs.

The largest element of the council’s non-pay administration expenditure related to an ESRI administration fee in respect of accommodation costs and support services which totalled about €101,000.

Fees and expenses incurred in relation to council members for 2015 totalled just over €62,500. This was down from €64,000 in 2014.

Expenses incurred by council members mainly reflect travel and subsistence costs incurred by international and non-Dublin based members attending council meetings held in Dublin.