Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Ceisteanna (61)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

61. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Defence the estimated allocation for defence in 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36624/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The total gross allocation provided to the Defence Sector in Budget 2021 is €1,072.3 million, comprising €809.7 million for Vote 36 (Defence) and €262.6 million for Vote 35 (Army Pensions). This represents an overall gross increase of over €32 million on 2020 and follows on from previous increases that have seen the Defence Vote Group funding envelope increase by over 13% since 2018. This significant level of funding ensures that adequate resources are available to the Defence Organisation to carry out all its assigned roles and deliver on White Paper commitments.  

The Defence Vote provides for pay and non-pay current expenditure of some €679 million in the Defence Vote. The pay allocation provides for the pay and allowances of up to 9,500 PDF personnel, 550 civilians (technicians, trades, etc.) and 355 civil servants as well as paid training for members of the Reserve Defence Force. This allocation includes all outstanding commitments arising from the Public Sector Stability Agreement 2018-2020 along with the restoration of the 5% cut in Permanent Defence Force allowances imposed under FEMPI. The non-pay allocation provides for expenditure on essential and ongoing Defence Forces standing and operational costs including utilities, fuel, catering, maintenance, information technology and training.

The capital allocation of €131 million will facilitate an ongoing programme of equipment replacement and infrastructural development, as set out in the Defence Equipment Development Plan and Infrastructure Development Plan.

Civil Defence and the Irish Red Cross Society also receive funding from the Defence Vote.

The 2021 allocation for Vote 35 (Army Pensions) is €262.6 million, an increase of €3.5 million on 2020. This allocation ensures that sufficient funding is available to meet the retirement benefits of some 12,750 former members of the Defence Forces and certain dependants.

I am very pleased with the outcome of Budget 2021 and the significant funding envelope of over one billion euro provided to the Defence Sector. This funding will enable the Defence Organisation to continue implementing the organisational priorities into 2021 and beyond, as outlined in the White Paper on Defence and reinforced by White Paper Update 2019.