Childcare allowance cut by a billion since spending cuts introduced

Public expenditure falls €0.5 billion more than projected over past two years

In the past two years, central government expenditure on childcare allowance has fallen by €536 million more than the government had projected when it introduced its package of economy measures. In 2013, the allowance had cost €2.32 billion. This is €1.04 billion less than projected without the economy measures. The saving in 2013 was €388 million higher than the government had projected; when added to the additional €148 million saving in 2012, the treasury has enjoyed a windfall of €536 million

The windfall came about because parents made less use of subsidised childcare. The Minister of Social Affairs and Employment had expected the growth of childcare to level off. It has actually fallen. It is not clear how much of the fall is due to the economy measures.