Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Ceisteanna (497)

James Browne

Ceist:

497. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Defence if the defence budget, specifically Vote 36, is on profile; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15613/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

Vote 36 Defence was allocated a gross funding provision of €781 million for 2020. This allocation provides for the pay and allowances of over 10,400 public service employees, the upgrade and replacement of essential military equipment and infrastructure, ongoing Defence Forces operational and standing costs as well as funding in respect of Civil Defence and the Irish Red Cross Society.

Gross expenditure to the end of June 2020 was €337 million, representing 43% of the Defence Vote allocation. This level of expenditure is some €28.6 million (7.8%) below profile and is broadly in line with expenditure trends in recent years.

Recruitment plans to date this year have been impacted by COVID 19 and expenditure trends on pay subheads reflect this. In that context, the military authorities have advised that they are currently finalising plans to re-commence collective training and recruitment, taking public health guidelines into account. On non-pay subheads, progress on some planned projects has been delayed in the first half of the year, however, a significant number of projects are expected to advance before year-end.

My Department will continue to monitor expenditure on the Vote over the coming months and at this stage it is expected that overall expenditure outturn will be substantially in line with provision at year-end.