Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said that nearly €1bn in next month's Budget will go simply towards maintaining existing services.
Minister Paschal Donohoe has said that it means there won't be much left to increase the State's spending in certain areas.
He has been taking questions from TDs at the Budget Oversight committee, three weeks ahead of Budget Day.
He says a lot of the Government's spare cash will be taken up by maintaining programmes that already exist.
"The expenditure increase that's planned for next year, we have €900m of that which is set the honour the commitments that we have in continuing to provide our existing services and the contribution of that, for example, is demographics, Lansdowne [Road Agreement], and capital investment."