Thursday, 10 November 2005
Michael D Higgins (Galway West, Labour)
I would like to the think that the Minister's Department was supported by a greater intake than is revealed in the table. It is interesting that in 2004 there were 115 consultancies and the total intake through departmental recruitment that year was 65. Given that there was an intake in 2002 of 201 and the fact that we were preparing for the increased role of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which I support, at the level of the European Union and the United Nations in international organisations, in particular, the projected increase in the other table which relates to the development division between now and 2012, it appears incredible that, allowing for retirements, leave and so on, the Department is recruiting such a small number. If we are to meet our commitments on overseas development aid by 2012, including the announced expansion in representation abroad, which I support, I do not understand how this can be achieved with this level of intake. Does the Minister propose to go to the Minister for Finance and seek departure from any such embargoes to achieve the policy objectives of his Department?