Written Answers. - Defence Budget Allocation.

Mary O'Rourke

Question:

670 Mrs. O'Rourke asked the Minister for Defence the amount of his budget of £13 million for voluntary early retirement which was used for such a purpose; the amount of this £13 million which was used for normal army gratuities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16836/96]

A sum of £16 million was included in this year's Army Pensions Vote to cover the cost of retirements under the voluntary early retirement scheme in 1996.

To date, 450 personnel have accepted early retirement under the VER scheme at an estimated cost of £14.2 million in 1996. The balance of the £16 million provided is being used to enable an additional 50 or so personnel to retire under the VER scheme this year.