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Garda Recruitment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 28 July 2020

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Questions (780)

Martin Kenny

Question:

780. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the additional cost to the Departmental baseline funding to commence and sustain a five-year Garda recruitment drive commencing in 2021 and concluding in 2025 with an intake of 800 Garda recruits per annum and their subsequent retention, that is, the amount by which the baseline must be increased in 2025 in comparison to 2020; and the additional baseline increases required in each of the years 2021 to 2025. [18440/20]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Programme for Government recognises the importance of ensuring more visible community policing, in line with the report of the Commission for the Future of Policing in Ireland. To this end, the Government is committed to supporting the continuation of the training of new Garda recruits annually. This commitment to prioritising the implementation of the report, including ongoing Garda recruitment, will foster the development of safer, more resilient communities.

The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is the accounting officer of An Garda Síochána and is statutorily responsible for carrying on and managing and controlling generally the administration and business of An Garda Síochána, including human resource matters. As Minister, I have no responsibility for these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities, to ensure their optimum use.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that, as at 30 June 2020, there are approximately 14,700 Garda members, the highest number in the history of the organisation. This figure includes the Garda trainees from two separate intake classes who attested earlier than scheduled on 20 March 2020, which was an operational decision taken by the Garda Commissioner in order to augment An Garda Síochána's response to Covid-19. As the Deputy will appreciate, the number of Garda members changes in line with recruitment and retirements.  

The table below, provided by the Garda authorities, sets out the payroll costs relating to the recruitment of 800 Gardaí each year from 2021 to 2025 and their subsequent retention.

 

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2021 intake (800 recruits)

       €18,723,058

       €37,695,515

       €40,095,318

       €43,045,942

       €45,220,730

2022 Intake (800 recruits)

 

       €18,723,058

       €37,695,515

       €40,095,318

       €43,045,942

2023 Intake (800 recruits)

 

 

       €18,723,058

       €37,695,515

       €40,095,318

2024 Intake (800 recruits)

 

 

 

       €18,723,058

       €37,695,515

2025 Intake (800 recruits)

 

 

 

 

       €18,723,058

Total Estimated Additional Costs

       €18,723,058

       €56,418,573

       €96,513,891

     €139,559,832

     €184,780,563

I should point out that the Garda authorities note that this estimated figure relates to the costs of newly attested Gardaí only. It may be noted, in addition, that payroll costs for new Garda recruits include a basic allowance of €184 per week. After 32 weeks of training, Garda recruits are attested and move on to the first point of the Garda pay scale (€31,600 p.a. is first point of pay scale that is expected to be in operation on completion of training). The overall estimate provided includes Employer's PRSI and an estimation of allowances which Garda members may qualify for depending on their assignments.

It is important to note that the annual cost of these additional recruits would continue to increase as the members move up the Garda pay scale each year. This estimated Garda costing does not take into account any pay rises occurring after 1 January 2021. 

It should also be noted that these estimated figures do not take into account the considerable additional costs that would be incurred in respect of accommodation, ICT, overtime and so on, if the Garda member and staff strengths were raised to the levels queried by the Deputy.

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